gavelToday, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal sided with CUPE’s nursing home workers as it upheld a lower court’s ruling of July 2, 2019. This ruling reaffirms a December 2018 Labour and Employment Board ruling which found the Essential Services in Nursing Homes Act (ESNHA) to be violation of union members’ rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The three Court of Appeal judges were unanimous on their decision.

“The province tried to appeal at all levels to deny workers the right to strike. Let’s hope that this decision by three judges will put a stop to their foolishness,” said Sharon Teare, President of the NB Council of Nursing Home Unions (NBCNHU).

The province has until January 2020 to amend the ESNHA to make it comply with the Charter. Until then, nursing home workers cannot begin a legal strike.

“Today’s victory confirms what we have been saying from day one. The legal system should not be used as a tactic to delay the inevitable – fair and just negotiations for nursing home workers,” concluded Teare.

The NBCNHU represents over 4,100 nursing home workers in 46 nursing homes in New Brunswick.