Letter from the Centralized Bargaining Team to the premier and cabinet

Hon. Premier Higgs and honourable members of cabinet,

The Centralized Bargaining Team was presented with your last package on November 4th, 2021, in which wages clearly remained contingent on Local 2745 and Local 1253 signing a memorandum of agreement on Pension reform.After the delegation presented your offer to the Centralized Bargaining Team, we responded with a counteroffer,which the Treasury Board received in the early morning of November 5th.

We continue to hear you saying in the media and directly to our members that they should vote on “the offer”. We ask that you come back to the table immediately to resolve this labour unrest and provide clarification as to what“offer” you are referring to. We have yet to receive a response to our counteroffer.

We want to clarify: for members to vote, there needs to be a signed tentative agreement reached between the parties (Finance and Treasury Board & Centralized Bargaining team). There is no tentative agreement at this time. The tentative agreement and ratification process is a long-standing process that both sides fully understand.

The Centralized Bargaining team would like to reiterate that on August 17, 2021 you met with the leaders of these locals to propose a Centralized Bargaining format to deal with wages. You also stated that all other nuances would be negotiated at each individual table after the wages were agreed upon. Since then, you have made wage offers contingent to two locals’ pension reform.

Furthermore, in the last package, the wage offer was contingent to the Locals agreeing to remove all outstanding items that remained on the bargaining tables. In our opinion, that would include the pension plans for Local 1253 and Local 2745 as they are also outstanding items.

We ask that you respond to the Centralized Bargaining Team’s package that you received on November 5th, 2021 or return to the bargaining table to resolve the wage package. The sooner this can happen, the sooner the frontline workers can return to work to provide frontline services for all New Brunswickers.

The CUPE Centralized Bargaining Team