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Nursing home workers demand better contact offer

By Tara Clow Aug 14, 2023 | 4:13 PM

A rally of over 100 nursing home workers demanding fair wages was held in Moncton on Monday.

Workers marched on Mountain Road to Finance Minister Ernie Steeves’ constituency office demanding a better contract offer from the provincial government.

New Brunswick Council of Nursing Homes Union (NBCNHU) President Sharon Teare says the six per cent wage increase over five years is an insult.

“We are standing here today to send a strong message to the Higgs government which continues to disrespect the workers. These are the same workers standing here today that you (Higgs) told in 2019 to go down to Alberta if they wanted a fair wage. Thank God these workers stayed and worked double and triple shifts during the pandemic to make sure that our seniors were cared for during the pandemic,” Teare says.

(Photo: TDCB)

She adds that six per cent over five years to 73 per cent of the membership amounts to 124 pennies, “It really shows the true value of what you [Higgs] value in nursing homes. We’re standing up and we’re demanding our value.”

Bargaining between the NB Council of Nursing Home Union and the provincial government broke down last Thursday.

According to Stats Canada, the average annual inflation for NB stood at 3.81 per cent for 2021, 7.26 per cent for 2022 and 3.67 per cent currently for 2023.

(Photo: TDCB)

“Wages were already unacceptable before the pandemic and now it’s noticeably worse. Our province’s massive budgetary surplus should be put to good use, like helping seniors and those who care for them,” Teare adds.

The NBCNHU represents close to 4,600 CUPE members working in 51 nursing homes throughout the province. They have been without a contract since October 2022.

(Photo: TDCB)

(Photo: TDCB)

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