New Brunswick CUPE members to return to work as they vote on tentative agreement

November 14, 2021
New Brunswick CUPE members to return to work as they vote on tentative agreement

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says roughly 20,000 workers in New Brunswick will be back on the job as the union presents a tentative agreement with the government to their members for a vote.

The union made the announcement around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, saying “members will return to work as soon as possible.”

“There will be no pickets tomorrow [Sunday],” reads the statement on CUPE New Brunswick’s website and Facebook page.

This comes after the latest round of negotiations, which went into the wee hours of Saturday morning. 

Thousands of public servants, including school bus drivers, educational support staff and workers in transportation, corrections and the community college system, have been on strike for more than two weeks.

Some support staff in the health-care sector were on strike but were mandated back to work by the province after one week.

In its statement Saturday evening, CUPE said that locals 2745 and 1253 arrived at a proposed memorandum of agreement regarding pension plans — something that had been a major point of contention. 

CUPE representatives and the province also arrived at a proposed wage package that will be voted on by members in seven CUPE locals. CUPE said the government agreed to make the package available to three other locals, which include employees with community colleges and WorkSafeNB.  

The union also said they are in the process of finalizing a tentative agreement for N.B. Liquor employees. Without an agreement, they will be in legal strike position on Tuesday. 

The New Brunswick government issued a statement Saturday night as well. 

It said details about the reopening of schools are being finalized and will be announced Sunday. The province moved all schools to at-home learning and locked out some workers in the education sector after the strike began. 

The government said both parties have agreed not to share details of the agreements publicly until they are ratified.

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