New Brunswick Tribune

Monday, May 29, 2023

After a CUPE workers march, the talks continue till the evening

Key sentence:

  • Premier Blaine Higgs of New Brunswick said the two sides were again in the same room on Thursday for hours trying to reach a deal.
  • Hundreds of striking CUPE members raised caution tape around the New Brunswick legislature on Friday morning.

Hundreds of striking CUPE workers ringed the New Brunswick legislature on Friday morning, putting up caution tape.

They even blocked a security car from leaving at one point.

The strike by 22,000 members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees in New Brunwick began two weeks ago on Friday.

They came from all over the province on Friday to celebrate with music and a BBQ outside the assembly. It was entertaining, but it didn’t lift everyone’s spirits.

Steve Lyons, a school bus driver, stated, “We’ve been out in the cold, out in the wet.” “You know, we just want to get back to work. It’s been a long time.”

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Premier Blaine Higgs of New Brunswick said the two sides were again in the same room on Thursday for hours trying to reach a deal.

Despite the fact that no agreement was achieved, they agreed to meet again on Friday and met far into the evening.

Talks drag on into evening after CUPE workers rally at legislature

“We’re working on some language in the agreement together that I’m hoping to address later today (Friday),” Higgs added.

So yet, no agreement has been reached, but he did add that the province is preparing to use some of its surpluses to fund the deal.

The retroactive compensation will be due to workers who have been without a contract for years.

The surplus is now less than $90 million, down from $200 million to $300 million.

CUPE NB president Steve Drost remarked, “We’re going into this with pretty low expectations because he’s so uncompromising.” “We’re always hopeful, and we’d want to see this resolved, but we’re not placing our bets on it.”

Drost is less optimistic than Higgs that the meeting on Friday will result in action.

According to him, the talks are mostly focused on the two locals whose pensions are in jeopardy.

“From the beginning, we’ve been adamant: get these pensions out of this round of bargaining,” Drost added. “Resolve these contracts and get these people back to school,” says the narrator.

Source: Global News

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