CUPE NB eyes September strike vote after little progress in negotiations

4 days ago 3
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The New Brunswick helping of the Canadian Union of Public Unions says implicit 20,000 workers could enactment successful a September onslaught ballot if respective bargaining units stay without contracts travel Labour Day.

Fifty days person elapsed successful the 100-day ultimatum issued by the union. It calls connected the state to participate into bully religion negotiations with locals needing contracts oregon look a imaginable autumn onslaught that would interaction ample parts of the nationalist service.

CUPE NB president Stephen Drost says small advancement has been made, adjacent aft a caller gathering with the premier.

“The premier didn’t truly look to instrumentality america seriously,” Drost said during a virtual property league held by CUPE NB.

“There was a batch of precise airy talk. He said possibly sometime successful the aboriginal we could person a marathon of bargaining. There were nary specifics fixed astir what that would mean. We did fto him cognize that these groups are much than consenting to beryllium down and negotiate.”

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About fractional a twelve locals are successful a deadlock presumption with the province, immoderate of whom person been without a declaration for 2 to 3 years. The locals successful question correspond workers from a fig of sectors, among them provincial correctional officers, quality work councillors, laundry workers, custodians, infirmary enactment staff, acquisition assistants and schoolhouse administrative assistants.

The deadlock successful negotiations has been coming since Premier Blaine Higgs announced that the state would prosecute a wage frost mandate successful negotiations with nationalist assemblage unions. In designation of declining revenues and rising expenses arsenic a effect of the coronavirus pandemic, Higgs pitched a four-year declaration that would diagnostic 1 twelvemonth with nary rise followed by a humble one-per-cent rise successful the different three.

Since the wage frost mandate was enactment successful place, lone 2 bargaining units person signed caller deals. Last week the state reached a tentative statement with 2 of 3 bargaining units represented by the New Brunswick Nurses Union, but the details person yet to beryllium released.

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CUPE has not reacted to the wage frost mandate positively, saying wages person already slipped implicit the erstwhile 15 years.

“We bring it backmost down to choices,” Drost said.

“The authorities is choosing precise deliberately to instrumentality connected the nationalist assemblage workers and not dainty them fairly.”

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Higgs was not made disposable for an interview.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the section of concern and treasury committee says the state is consenting to negotiate.

Premier Higgs has suggested the state and the assorted CUPE locals conscionable successful precocious July oregon aboriginal August, which is simply a motion that the provincial authorities is unfastened to further talks with CUPE, Mélanie Sivret said successful an email.

“The state is facing important challenges, which person been amplified by the ongoing economical and fiscal interaction of COVID-19. The state indispensable guarantee each corporate agreements crossed authorities are just for the employees and New Brunswick taxpayers.”

Drost says a woody could beryllium reached instantly if the governmental volition to bargain successful bully religion was present, but says the national volition proceed preparing for a September onslaught ballot successful the meantime.

Should the applicable locals ballot to strike, they’ll person the enactment of their provincial counterparts successful Ontario.

“When our CUPE Ontario enforcement committee learned of the mobilization happening present we were truthful inspired that we voted unanimously to participate into a solidarity pact,” said CUPE Ontario president Fred Hahn.

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The archetypal portion of that pact is $50,000 to enactment CUPE NB members, a acquisition successful solidarity from the 280,000 members of CUPE Ontario.

Drost said the national is well-positioned to supply $300 a week successful onslaught pay. The CUPE nationalist onslaught money is stocked with astir $130 million.

“If, successful fact, they workout their close to onslaught aft they instrumentality their onslaught vote, it volition fundamentally unopen the state down,” Drost said.

But the authorities says the wellness and information of the nationalist volition beryllium protected should a onslaught happen.

“In the lawsuit of a strike, determination are workers that are designated arsenic indispensable successful each CUPE units to guarantee the wellness and information of the public,” Sivret said.

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