FREDERICTON – During the special one-day session of the New Brunswick legislature held Tuesday, July 29th in Fredericton, the Liberal Party made a commitment to binding arbitration for correctional officers in New Brunswick. The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1251, which represents 500 Provincial Correctional Officers, Human Services Councillors and Custodians, is pleased to hear such a commitment from the Official Opposition. The Union is now calling on the Conservative Government to do the same.
“It has been more than 3 years now that we have been without a contract. Our officers are the lowest paid in Canada, and because of that we have a serious retention issue. In the last five years, we have had hundreds of our workers leave our provincial correction institutions”, said Everett Godfrey, President of CUPE Local 1251.
“We have some of the lowest amount of officers per inmate ratios in Atlantic Canada working in our jails designed with an inmate ratio of up to 30 inmates to 1 officer and no protective barrier.”
According to Liberal MLA Bernard leBlanc, the issue “needs to be addressed immediately”.
“Over a year at the negotiating table and four rounds of conciliation, the provincial government failed to negotiate an essential Public Safety contract. This contract needs to be sent to binding arbitration for safety reasons”, concluded the President.