New Brunswick forest rangers casting ballots in strike vote

Wages and proposed job cuts among key issues


Fredericton (20 Jan. 2006) - The New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board has declared a deadlock in negotiations between the provincial government and the province's 252 forest rangers, parks officers and agricultural technicians.

Tom Mann, executive director of the New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees (NBUPPE/NUPGE), says the government has effectively forced employee groups to take a strike position.

The main issues are wages and a number of initiatives including a planned reduction of the number of forest rangers serving as enforcement officers in the province.

Government officials say that the initiative only restructures workload and should not result in layoffs. Results of the strike vote are expected early next month. NUPGE