Glimmer of hope in contract talks as 22,000 N.B. public workers near strike vote

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FREDERICTON — The president of CUPE New Brunswick says there are some promising signs during contract negotiations involving 22,000 government employees who will be in a position to take a strike vote as of Sept. 7.

Steve Drost said today Premier Blaine Higgs spoke to the bargaining teams Thursday and they have agreed to continue negotiations next week.

He says many workers have been without new contracts for as long as five years.

Drost says the employees went above and beyond the call of duty during the pandemic and deserve fair and reasonable wage increases.

The affected employees include people who clean schools and hospitals, and Drost says a strike would shut the province down.

National CUPE president Mark Hancock says the union is ready to support the New Brunswick workers in the event of a strike, but he says his organization would prefer a fair collective agreement that works for members and the government.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 27, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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