Nursing home workers from all over New Brunswick protested for fair wages March 11 and 12.
Wages for employees in nursing home range from $18 to $25 per hour and CUPE members are seeking an increase in pay equivalent to the cost of living.
Public protests were held in Shippagan, Saint John and Edmundston on March 11 by off-duty nursing home workers who on March 7 voted overwhelmingly to strike. On March 9, the provincial government secured a 10-day stay order preventing a walkout. Hundreds of people have joined the protest.
A demonstration was also held in Fredericton on Tuesday, March 12 with around three dozen strikers–mostly women–marching at the entrance to the Chancery Place government building’s King Street entrance while chanting: “What do we want? Wages! When do we want it? Now!” and “Solidarity!” This Canadian Union of Public Employees union represents over 4,100 workers at 46 nursing homes in the province who are employed by the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes. Negotiations are ongoing.
Sophie M. Lavoie is an editorial board member of the NB Media Co-op.