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Members of the New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Unions pose for a photo with Saint John Harbour MLA Arlene Dunn following a meeting on June 26, 2023. Image: Brad Perry

Contract negotiations for nursing home workers stall: union

By Brad Perry Aug 11, 2023 | 3:34 PM

A union representing more than 4,000 New Brunswick nursing home workers says bargaining talks have hit a wall.

The New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Unions returned to the bargaining table with the employer, the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes, in June.

At the time, the union said it had been offered a six per cent wage increase over five years with no other financial incentives.

In the weeks since the offer, union officials said the government has “barely moved” from its initial wage proposal.

“Government still insists on imposing a ‘single-digit increase proposal’ over the whole new contract, and the association cannot in good conscience bring that to the workers,” president Sharon Teare said in a news release on Friday.

According to Teare, the employer association called off talks on Thursday as the government still insisted on its single-digit proposal.

The union said a single-digit increase would not allow employees to catch up for the ground lost to inflation over the past couple of years.

“Wages were already unacceptable before the pandemic; now it’s noticeably worse,” said Teare.

Union members visited several MLA offices in recent weeks to voice their concerns about the offer.

Tammy Nadeau, who represents CUPE Local 1603 at Rocmaura Nursing Home in Saint John, said in June that the offer would not help the sector’s struggles to retain and recruit staff.

Nadeau said many have chosen to leave the province and work elsewhere, exacerbating the staffing shortage.

“If we’re not back to the bargaining table with a better offer, members are prepared to come out and show their displeasure,” she said.

The union said plans to hold a rally in Moncton on Monday, Aug. 14.


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