10 New Collective Agreements Ratified

Fredericton November 19, 2021 Members of 10 CUPE Provincial Locals have a ratified new collective agreement with the NB Government. Locals 963, 1190, 1251, 1252, 1418, 1840, 1866, 2745, 5017 & 5026 have ratified the tentative agreement presented to them this week. Local 1253, representing more than 1900 school district custodians, bus drivers, maintenance, and trades workers rejected their tentative agreement.

“The new five-year contract is the result of a long struggle, culminating in mass strikes, for wages that go above the cost of living,” said Stephen Drost, President of CUPE NB. “Nothing in this deal was given to us kindly, it was earned through the members’ mobilization and their resolve on the picket lines,” he added.

In this deal, members will see a general economic increase of 2% and a 25 cents per hour adjustment at the start of every year of the contract. As the average CUPE member in NB makes $21.50 an hour, the 25 cents an hour represents more than 1% for every year of the contract. “The overall agreement stands above a 15% adjustment over 5 years and stands at 17.9% for the lowest-paid classifications,” said Drost.

Casual workers who were unjustly receiving less than 80% of the pay of what a full-time worker earned for the same work, will now get 100% of the pay.

Back in December 2020, Higgs wanted to impose a wage freeze, followed by 3 years of 1%. When Centralized Bargaining began in August 2021, he moved to 8.5% over 5 years. “Through public pressure and mobilization, Higgs had to adjust,” said Drost.

Local 1253 leadership hopes to return to the bargaining table to settle the issue of pensions which was at the heart of the matter when members voted down the tentative agreement.

“CUPE NB and all provincial CUPE Locals support Local 1253 members in their efforts to achieve a better contract. I hope they can get a satisfactory resolve at the bargaining table in the coming days,” concluded Drost.

 

NB General Strike: Tentative Agreement Reached

November 14, 2021 – Last night, a tentative agreement was reached between the 11 CUPE Locals part of the Centralized Bargaining Team and the NB Government. All workers are to return to work immediately as strike activities are held off pending ratification from the general membership.

CUPE Locals 1190, 1251, 1252, 1253, 1418, 1840, 1866, 2745, 5017 & 5026, had been on strike since October 29, 2021. CUPE Local 963, representing Alcool NB Liquor (ANBL) workers joined the Centralized Bargaining Team after conducting successful strike votes last week. They also reached a tentative agreement this Saturday.

“Most workers had been without a contract for over three, four years, so I am pleased they have an agreement they can vote on in the coming days,” said Stephen Drost, President of CUPE NB.

Late in 2020, Premier Blaine Higgs had announced his intentions to impose a wage freeze on all public sector workers. “Despite the pandemic pressure, the recruitment and retention crisis, despite CUPE’s repeated appeals to reason, Higgs did not want to offer fair wages to workers,” said Drost. What is in today’s tentative agreement has only been possible through collective action, perseverance, and determination of all union members,” said Drost.

More than 20 000 CUPE members were involved in what has become New Brunswick’s biggest legal general strike.

From day one, the union’s goal at the bargaining table was always obtaining real wage improvements that go above the cost of living. “This is key to improve NB’s public services, services that we need now more than ever as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Drost.

Details of the agreement will not be released until members can see it first during ratification votes later this week.

Picket Locations – November 13

PICKET LOCATIONS (7am to 6pm)

***REGION 1 – CAMPBELLTON***
Main: Corner of George Street and Roseberry avenue, near the Irving

REGION 2 – MIRAMICHI
Main: WALK UP AND DOWN THE ROAD FROM NEWCASTLE SHOPPERS TO MILLER AVENUE AND BACK
Overflow: WALK UP AND DOWN THE ROAD FROM MCDONALDS ON KING GEORGE UNTIL TIM HORTONS AND BACK
Overflow: WELLINGTON & UNIVERSITY

REGION 3 – MONCTON
Main: Mapleton/Trinity
Overflow: Champlain mall

REGION 4 – SUSSEX
Main: CORNER OF MAIN & MOFFETT
Overflow: CORNER OF LEONARD DRIVE & MAIN

REGION 5 – SAINT JOHN
Main: MCALLISTER DRIVE AREA
Overflow: LANDSDOWNE & MAIN

REGION 6 – FREDERICTON
Main: WALK UP AND DOWN THE ROAD FROM FREDERICTON INN TO ARNOLD STREET LIGHTS AND RETURN (SOUTH SIDE)
Overflow: WALK UP AND DOWN THE ROAD FROM WALLACE & MAIN TO FULTON & MAIN AND BACK (NORTH SIDE)

REGION 7 – WOODSTOCK
Main: CORNER OF DEAKIN/CONNELL TO EVERETT/CONNELL & BACK

***REGION 8 – ST. STEPHEN***
Main: Traffic circle by the highway.

REGION 9 – EDMUNDSTON
Main: CORNER OF BOULEVARD HÉBERT AND RUE DE L’ÉGLISE
Overflow: WALK UP AND DOWN VICTORIA STREET IN FRONT OF SUPERSTORE INTERSECTION

REGION 10 – PERTH
Main: CORNER OF TRIBE ROAD AND DOWN RTE 109

REGION 11 – BATHURST
Main: CORNER OF SAINT PETERS AND ROUTE 180
Overflow: CORNER OF ST-ANNE AND ST. PETERS TO SUPERSTORE AND BACK

REGION 12 – TRACADIE
Main: corner of rue Principal and Du Moulin

REGION 13 – SAINT QUENTIN
Main: 4 rue Saint-Camille, Kedgwick

REGION 14 – BOUCTOUCHE
Main: OVERPASS BETWEEN TIM HORTONS AND IRVING, AND BACK

SATELLITES

Salisbury
In front of Gold Medal Restaurant

Richibouctou
corner of route 134 and rue Cartier

Sackville
Corner of York & Main BUT closer to the Dollar Store side

Dalhousie
On the sidewalk in front of Irving to the Esso (Renfrew & Goderich)

Grand Falls
Madawaska & Broadway

Oromocto
Overflow: One Gateway drive (roundabout)

Harvey/McAdam 
Canada Post to WWE Smith General store, and back

Chipman/Minto
Corner Route 10 & Union Street

Caraquet 
Boulevard St-Pierre Ouest, between Tims & the mall, do not pass Tims

Shippigan
In front of the mall

Lamèque 
Intersection Pêcheur North and Rue Principale, do not pass the Coop

Grand Manan 
Corner of Pettes Cove Drive & Route 776 (up from ferry terminal)

Boiestown
On the sidewalk in front of Canada Post to the General Store and back

Hampton 
On the sidewalk in front of Canada Post Canada Post to Town Square and back

Nackawic
Corner of Landegger Drive and Route 105

Bath
Corner of Hospital and Route 105

Néguac 
Corner Egbert/Principale Rd (Close to Pub 981)

Quispamsis KV
Intersection of Campbell Drive / Hampton Road and Pettinghill Road
Overflow: Marr Road / Hampton Road and Clark Road

New Brunswickers support CUPE in province-wide strike, PC support plummets from 2020 election results: poll

A poll of New Brunswickers by national polling company Stratcom shows support for CUPE members and an unfavourable opinion of Premier Blaine Higgs.

The poll commissioned by the NB Division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees surveyed a random sample of 1,184 New Brunswickers over the age of 18 via interactive voice response (IVR) to landlines and cellular numbers between the dates of November 4th to 6th in English and French.

Amongst other findings, the poll asked New Brunswickers if they supported the striking frontline workers’ demands for wage increases that go above the cost of living. 82 per cent of respondents indicated support for the striking workers with 62 percent expressing strong support.

CUPE New Brunswick president Stephen Drost says that the results confirm what he has seen in communities across the province since the strike began on October 29. “The level of support for our members has been incredible, from cars honking as they drive by, to local businesses donating food and coffee to our members, there’s a real community feeling out there on the lines,” said Drost, who has split time between working with CUPE’s Central Bargaining Team and visiting picket lines throughout New Brunswick.

“New Brunswickers know the valuable work these frontline workers do, and they know they should be compensated fairly for it,” said Drost. “This means real wage increases, higher than inflation, and no rollbacks to other contract provisions in order to pay for those wage increases.”

The poll also revealed a significant shift in public opinion toward Premier Blaine Higgs and the governing PC Party. Two-thirds (67 per cent) of respondents had an unfavourable opinion of the premier, compared to only 23 per cent with a favourable opinion.

Perhaps the most startling figure in the poll was a 19-point drop for Higgs’ PC party from the results of the 2020 election, held just over a year ago. Twenty-one percent of decided voters said they would vote for Higgs’ Conservatives, down from 39.3 per cent in the 2020 election. Forty per cent of decided voters said they would vote for Roger Melanson’s Liberals if the election were held today, up from 34 per cent in 2020.

“It doesn’t surprise me one bit that the Premier and his party aren’t very popular right now,” Drost added. “New Brunswickers aren’t blaming frontline workers for the strike, they know our members were put in this position by the premier. New Brunswickers also know that the premier can end this strike tomorrow with one stroke of a pen by signing our offer.”

The margin of error for a polling sample of this size is +/- 2.8%, 19 times out of 20. The 1184 respondents were statistically weighted to match New Brunswick’s gender, age and regional proportions as per the 2016 Census.

View the full report

 

Picket Locations – Wednesday, November 10 (7am-6pm)

DAY 13 PICKET LOCATIONS (7am to 6pm)

REGION 1 – CAMPBELLTON
Main: CORNER CHEMIN VAL D’AMOUR & DOVER

REGION 2 – MIRAMICHI
Main: WALK UP AND DOWN THE ROAD FROM NEWCASTLE SHOPPERS TO MILLER AVENUE AND BACK
Overflow: WALK UP AND DOWN THE ROAD FROM MCDONALDS ON KING GEORGE UNTIL TIM HORTONS AND BACK
Overflow: WELLINGTON & UNIVERSITY

***REGION 3 – MONCTON***
Main: Mapleton/Trinity
Overflow: Champlain mall

REGION 4 – SUSSEX
Main: CORNER OF MAIN & MOFFETT
Overflow: CORNER OF LEONARD DRIVE & MAIN

REGION 5 – SAINT JOHN
Main: MCALLISTER DRIVE AREA
Overflow: LANDSDOWNE & MAIN

REGION 6 – FREDERICTON
***11am-6pm at the Legislature***
Main: WALK UP AND DOWN THE ROAD FROM FREDERICTON INN TO ARNOLD STREET LIGHTS AND RETURN (SOUTH SIDE)
Overflow: WALK UP AND DOWN THE ROAD FROM WALLACE & MAIN TO FULTON & MAIN AND BACK (NORTH SIDE)

REGION 7 – WOODSTOCK
Main: CORNER OF DEAKIN/CONNELL TO EVERETT/CONNELL & BACK

REGION 8 – ST. STEPHEN
Main: CORNER OF ROUTE 170/QUEEN ST WEST UP TO SUPERSTORE & BACK

REGION 9 – EDMUNDSTON
Main: CORNER OF BOULEVARD HÉBERT AND RUE DE L’ÉGLISE
Overflow: WALK UP AND DOWN VICTORIA STREET IN FRONT OF SUPERSTORE INTERSECTION

REGION 10 – PERTH
Main: CORNER OF TRIBE ROAD AND DOWN RTE 109

REGION 11 – BATHURST
Main: CORNER OF SAINT PETERS AND ROUTE 180
Overflow: CORNER OF ST-ANNE AND ST. PETERS TO SUPERSTORE AND BACK

REGION 12 – TRACADIE
Main: corner of rue Principal and Du Moulin

REGION 13 – SAINT QUENTIN
Main: 4 rue Saint-Camille, Kedgwick

REGION 14 – BOUCTOUCHE
Main: OVERPASS BETWEEN TIM HORTONS AND IRVING, AND BACK

SATELLITES

***Salisbury***
In front of Gold Medal Restaurant

***Richibouctou***
corner of route 134 and rue Cartier

Sackville
Corner of York & Main BUT closer to the Dollar Store side

Dalhousie
On the sidewalk in front of Irving to the Esso (Renfrew & Goderich)

Grand Falls
Madawaska & Broadway

Oromocto
***11am-6pm Legislature in Fredericton***
Overflow: One Gateway drive (roundabout)

Harvey/McAdam 
Canada Post to WWE Smith General store, and back

Chipman/Minto
Corner Route 10 & Union Street

Caraquet 
Boulevard St-Pierre Ouest, between Tims & the mall, do not pass Tims

Shippigan
In front of the mall

Lamèque 
Intersection Pêcheur North and Rue Principale, do not pass the Coop

Grand Manan 
Corner of Pettes Cove Drive & Route 776 (up from ferry terminal)

Boiestown
On the sidewalk in front of Canada Post to the General Store and back

Hampton 
On the sidewalk in front of Canada Post Canada Post to Town Square and back

Nackawic
Corner of Landegger Drive and Route 105

Bath
Corner of Hospital and Route 105

Néguac 
Corner Egbert/Principale Rd (Close to Pub 981)

Quispamsis KV
Intersection of Campbell Drive / Hampton Road and Pettinghill Road
Overflow: Marr Road / Hampton Road and Clark Road

Local 963 members (ANBL workers) vote 97.7% for a strike

During a press conference held on November 9, 2021, CUPE Local 963, representing workers at Alcool NB Liquor (ANBL) released the results of their strike vote. “Members voted overwhelmingly to strike, with 97.7% in favour,” said Local 963 President Jamie Agnew.

The overwhelming strike mandate comes along very high participation, with over 521 having cast their vote among the 566 workers who are part of Local 963. The vote was conducted from November 3 to November 6, 2021.

“The Crown Corporation retail and warehouse employees are mobilized and ready. They have voted to strike over fair wages and respect from their employer, and they mean it,” said Agnew.

Workers are notably frustrated by the Premier’s obstruction to block the tentative deal they had reached a year ago with ANBL Management. “We had a deal, and Higgs blocked it because our deal did not fit in his plan to freeze public sector wages,” added Agnew.

 

“Wages that go above the cost of living is the priority,” said Agnew. “Whether in retail or at the warehouse, our members have been going full tilt since the pandemic started, delivering record sales. They definitely deserve a fair deal,” he added.

 

In 2020-2021, the Crown Corporation reported a record sales result to date: $506 million and a net income of $199 million.

“We did all we could to respectfully get this solved at the table, but the employer has forced these workers to strike. Hopefully, we can reach a deal with GNB before our members hit the picket lines on November 16,” said Agnew.

Local 963 represents more than 566 members in the 41 publicly owned and run retail outlets and warehouses of ANBL.