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FREDERICTON Negotiations to avert a province-wide strike by New Brunswicks 6,000 hospital workers broke off at 1 a.m. this morning with no settlement in sight. A strike is possible within the next five days.

We are always prepared to listen to a new offer from the government, said Danny Bernatchez, chief negotiator for CUPE Local 1252. But we did not hear a proposal that we could use to avoid a strike.

Government seems unaware of the powder keg they are sitting on, Bernatchez added. Our members have not had a substantial raise in 10 years. They make less than every other hospital group. Some of them have resorted to working at call centres.

CUPE is hopeful that the government will come back with a new offer before our members withdraw their services. But they will not accept less than the conciliation board recommendation, Bernatchez said. Most will not accept that anymore.

A legal strike could occur seven days after the strike vote results were submitted last Thursday.


Contact: Danny Bernatchez, CUPE National Representative,
(506) 863-5851.