"Different appears to mean not respecting workers’ rights, and trying to break our health care system all while hoarding money sent from Ottawa to help the people of this province." — Susie Proulx-Daigle, NBU President
Fredericton (28 Nov. 2022) — The New Brunswick Union (NBU/NUPGE) has serious concerns about the changes proposed to the Public Services Labour Relations Act.
NB government puts labour relations on shaky ground, refuses to consult
This bill, which had no stakeholder consultation, is a threat to labour peace in our province. Changes include forcing unions to give 7- hours' notice before striking, giving employers more leeway on scheduling of essential workers during a strike, and allowing employers to use replacement workers during a strike. It is well researched that the use of scab labour disincentivizes the employer from resolving differences at the bargaining table and increases the level of acrimony inherent in work stoppages.
In the case of groups with designated [essential] employees, in the event of a strike, the use of scab labour, or forcing those on strike to cover for those who are deemed essential, seriously interferes with the worker’s right to strike.
The NBU/NUPGE had asked on 2 separate occasions to discuss the changes government is proposing. In one instance, the date for a meeting with all unions was continually pushed back. Another request to meet directly with our union about the changes was scheduled for weeks and then abruptly cancelled less than 24 hours before it was to occur.
Legislation tilted to favour employers
There are other issues with the bill, but, on the whole, it is designed to tilt the playing field in the employer’s favour.
The Premier has stated many times he wants to do politics differently.
Susie Proulx-Daigle, NBU President said, "Different appears to mean not respecting workers’ rights, and trying to break our health care system, all while hoarding money sent from Ottawa to help the people of this province."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 425,000 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.
While our Components are located from coast to coast, the office of the National Union of Public and General Employees is situated on the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.
We recognize and acknowledge the crimes that have been committed and the harm that has been done.
And, we dedicate ourselves, as a union, to moving forward in partnership with Indigenous Peoples in a spirit of reconciliation and striving for justice. — NUPGE