New Brunswick budget light on details

Fredericton (14 Feb. 2017) — The budget tabled by the provincial government in February did not address important topics relevant to the members, says the New Brunswick Union (NBU/NUPGE). The union was hoping the budget would include details regarding the extra-mural program, support for workers and consultation with labour on a variety of issues.

"We were hoping to hear some definitive plans, but unfortunately we're left with more questions than answers," said Susie Proulx-Daigle, President of the NBU/NUPGE.

No details on education and health care investments

Government announced record investment in education and health care, but provided no details on where negotiations stand with Medavie regarding privatizing management of the Extra-Mural and Tele-Care programs.

"Our members have been waiting patiently for an answer on this file," said Proulx-Daigle. "Specifically how it will affect their jobs going forward. This was disappointing given the recent bilateral funding agreement with the federal government specifically spoke about increased funding for home care."

Government promises consultations but hasn't delivered

During her address to stakeholders, Finance Minister Cathy Rogers spoke about the provincial government's commitment to consultation, however, labour has had very few meaningful discussions with government on a whole host of topics.

"We've stated time and again our willingness to sit down and work with government, but have very rarely been taken up on the offer," said Proulx-Daigle.

It was announced that government will increase the number of process improvement facilitators as a way to make, "services more efficient, and user-friendly at a lower cost for New Brunswickers."

The NBU believes the path to improved services lies in having more front-line workers, ensuring employees have the proper support, and that any of the initiatives brought forward by the process improvement facilitators are sustainable.

Read more on this topic here.

NBU/NUPGE looks forward to legisltation on domestic and partner violence

On a positive note, legislation is set to be introduced this session to better protect the victims of domestic and intimate partner violence. While the exact details were not released, the NBU/NUPGE is supportive of any legislation which helps those suffering from domestic violence.

"Our hope is that this legislation will include both specified leave and job security for victims of domestic violence similar to legislation introduced in Manitoba last year," said Proulx-Daigle.

Read more on this topic here

NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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