Fredericton – Being a few days short from reaching a tentative agreement, it appears government decided to sabotage negotiations with CUPE Local 1253. The union had been at the table with the Department of Education for over one and half year when they unexpectedly demanded a pension plan review this week.
“Pensions were never mentioned at all in the whole negotiation process. Almost outstanding issues had been resolved. We were inches away from a deal,” said Brien Watson, President of Local 1253. “Now, out of the blue, Government says that we must talk about a complete overhaul of our pension plan,” he added.
“The current plan is performing very well, and even saw a 10% increase in funding levels,” said CUPE National Servicing Representative David Perkins. “There is no good reasons to review the plan at this moment,” he said.
“This is a clear case of bargaining in bad faith by the Government,” said Perkins.
The union will be filing an official complaint with the Labour board in the coming days.
“This has all the looks of a top-down decision taken on the political level, as if someone had decided to make sure the negotiations would go nowhere,” said Watson. “Like all workers, our members have a right to be treated with respect and good faith,” he concluded.