More than two weeks after forming picket lines in cities and towns across New Brunswick, CUPE members will be back at work while they vote on a proposed agreement.
At 8pm Saturday, the CUPE central bargaining team announced they had arrived at a proposed wage package with the Higgs government and had discussed it with seven CUPE local bargaining teams who “are united in presenting this wage proposal, along with previously agreed-to local issues, to their membership for a vote.”
“As part of the proposal, members will be returning to work as soon as possible, during the voting process. There will be no picket lines tomorrow,” reads the CUPE NB statement.
The seven locals are general labour and trades (CUPE 1190), rehabilitation and therapy (CUPE 1418), provincial court stenographers (CUPE 1840), institutional care and services (CUPE 1251), NB council of hospital unions (CUPE 1252), NB council of school district unions (CUPE 1253), and education support staff (CUPE 2745).
Earlier on Saturday, the two locals representing school custodians, bus drivers, educational assistants and other education workers (CUPE 2745 and CUPE 1253) arrived at a proposed Memorandum of Agreement about pensions that was taken back to their respective bargaining teams for consideration.
The central bargaining team also secured the same wage proposal for the three CUPE locals that bargain with Crown corporations: Worksafe NB (CUPE 1866), the New Brunswick Community College (CUPE 5017) and Collège communautaire du N.-B (CCNB) (CUPE 5026). Alcool NB Liquor (CUPE 963) is finalizing a tentative agreement tonight with ANBL management, CUPE announced.
“I’m so pumped and relieved,” wrote CUPE President Steve Drost when the NB Media Co-op asked for his comments shortly after the announcement was made. Drost and his team went into the latest bargaining round on Thursday that ended at 1am Saturday before resuming later in the day.
CUPE is asking all its members to stay tuned for updates from their local leaders for the next steps.
Access all of NB Media Co-op’s coverage of the CUPE strike here.
Read all about the the events leading up to the strike here.
Susan O’Donnell writes for the NB Media Co-op.