The members are in the drivers’ seat : Nursing home workers reach tentative deal

Fredericton, May 28 2020 – After years of negotiations, protests and mobilization, the NB Council of Nursing Home Unions has a reached a tentative deal with provincial government.

“Of course, this deal is “tentative” because the nursing home members have the final say on it,” said Sharon Teare, President of the NBCNHU and herself a resident attendant.

Since October 2016, workers in long-term care have been without an agreement. “Bargaining was difficult long before the COVID crisis,” said Teare. “I will not forget the severe restrictions imposed by government on the nursing home bargaining process, with no real right to strike for essential workers and the impossibility to obtain unrestricted binding arbitration,” she added.

Before the start of the voting period, every union Local part of council (a total of 51 Locals) will hold membership meetings virtually or in person where feasible. Details of the tentative deal will not be released until members have had the opportunity to be presented and questions answered. “After presentation of the tentative deal, every member will be able to vote in a safe and democratic process through secret ballot,” said Teare.

Teare recognizes the deal does not solve all the issues nursing home workers currently face: “It must be either accepted or rejected by the membership. We can’t be in the mushy middle and divided during this crisis,” concluded Teare.

The NB Council of Nursing Home Unions represents 4100 workers in 51 nursing homes throughout NB.