N.B. government locks out 3,000 CUPE workers as strike enters Day 3

October 31, 2021
N.B. government locks out 3,000 CUPE workers as strike enters Day 3

The New Brunswick government on Sunday locked out all non-designated employees in CUPE locals 1253 and 2745, including custodians, bus drivers, school library assistants and administrative support, and a number of educational assistants.

Schools across the province will move to online learning as of Monday, and it will remain that way until the end of a strike by Canadian Union of Public Employees members that began Friday.

Education Minister Dominic Cardy said the decision to lock out the workers came because CUPE has proven to be “unpredictable” in its strike actions.

Cardy said the lockout of 3,000 employees means schools cannot operate in-person classes. 

Health services impacted 

Meanwhile, the Horizon Health Network announced in a news release on Saturday that it initiated its patient care plan at the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital in Fredericton; Oromocto Public Hospital; Hotel-Dieu of St. Joseph in Perth; Upper River Valley Hospital in Waterville; and Miramichi Regional Hospital.

In-patient care and emergency services will not be impacted throughout the duration of the CUPE strike. 

All elective and day surgeries have been cancelled. 

Patients should expect delays during the strike, and all visitation has been restricted.

COVID-19 assessment and vaccination clinics in Fredericton are closed. The assessment centres in Hartland and at Ropewalk Road are also closed.

The COVID-19 assessment centre remains open, but it’s expected to experience delays in processing referrals for testing. 

Ferry closures

River ferry services were suspended as of Saturday morning due to the strike.

“We understand the importance of the ferry system, especially in rural New Brunswick,” Mark Taylor, a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation, told CBC News. 

Health and ferry services in New Brunswick continue to be affected as CUPE members strike. (Mrinali Anchan/CBC News)

“The strike is [impacting] ferry services that New Brunswickers count on.”

Taylor said ferry services are “working hard” to get operating again as soon as possible. 

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