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Tentative agreement reached between province, teachers

By Brad Perry Jul 28, 2023 | 4:20 PM

A tentative collective agreement has been reached between the province and the union representing New Brunswick’s public school teachers.

News of the tentative agreement was made public in a late Friday afternoon news release from the provincial government.

Details of the agreement are not being released until after a ratification vote, which will likely take place in mid-September, the province said.

“As a government, we deeply value the effort teachers put into their work each day,” Finance and Treasury Board Minister Ernie Steeves said in the news release.

“That is why we are very pleased to have reached a tentative agreement and look forward to having it ratified.”

A conciliation board recently recommended that teachers receive a 15 per cent wage increase over five years.

That included a two per cent increase for each of the first two years, followed by three per cent in the third year and four per cent in years four and five.

The agreement would be retroactive to March 1, 2021, which was when the most recent collective agreement expired.

Neither side is required to follow the board’s non-binding report, but Steeves said in a statement at the time that it was a “fair” and “reasonable” proposal.

The New Brunswick Teachers’ Federation (NBTF) has previously said it wanted to see compensation and working conditions that are reflective of today’s realities.

It said the two per cent annual increase that had been offered previously by the province did not consider current inflation rates and would not address recruitment and retention issues.

NBTF issued a 100-day strike countdown on May 20, saying a strike vote would be held if a tentative agreement was not reached before Aug. 28.

But co-president Connie Keating said they are committed to finding a solution at the bargaining table and not on the picket lines.


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