NBNU: “Changes to Public Service Labour Relations Act are unfair”
November 25, 2022
The New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU) is vehemently opposed to changes proposed to the Public Service Labour Relations Act.
“Changes to the Public Service Labour Relations Act represent a cowardly approach to limiting fair collective bargaining in the province,” said Paula Doucet, President of NBNU. “Simply put, these changes tip balance unfairly to GNB against Public Service – and this is the same Public Service that this government likes to trot out as being so ‘valued’ when it’s convenient for them to do so.”
Several clauses in the Act cause major concern, however the most concerning is the introduction of replacement workers that will only create animosity and stress in workplaces already stressed and understaffed.“How can this government think these changes will not damage our recruitment and retention efforts,” said Doucet. “We are already struggling to fill shortages in our clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and care centres. New Brunswick should be doing everything in their power to make New Brunswick a place where people want to work, an environment where they are supported and fairly renumerated for the valuable work they do. These changes will make recruitment and retention even more difficult.”
The Bill also unfairly restricts the jurisdiction of an arbitrator in any binding arbitration award with criteria that will negatively impact our ability to attract nurses.
“Organized labour unions in the province would have been able to make positive changes to the Act – changes that would ensure a level playing field for unionized employees and the employer, had we been consulted,” said Doucet. “If this government wants meaningful and productive fair collective bargaining, they need to take responsibility and come to the table on Day 1 ready to negotiate with labour. It is the long drawn-out ‘years of not negotiating’ that has created much of the labour unrest we have recently seen because of this government’s lack of foresight.”
NBNU will be in a position to begin negotiation of a new contract for its members, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Nurse Practitioners, in 2023. Current collective agreements expire in December 2023.
The New Brunswick Nurses Union (NBNU) is a labour organization of approximately 8900 nurses who are employed in various healthcare facilities throughout the province of New Brunswick.Contact: