Minister urges parties to return to table in Nursing Home dispute

Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard is encouraging the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes and the New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Unions to return to the bargaining table and resume negotiations.

In a press release yesterday, Shephard said, "Nursing home workers play a key role in the care residents receive on a daily basis. Balancing fiscal responsibility with ensuring these workers are compensated fairly is important, and we encourage the parties to return to the table as soon as possible and we remain hopeful an agreement can be reached."

Earlier this week, the province applied for a judicial review of the Labour and Employment Board's December 2018 decision regarding the legislation on essential services in the event of a strike.

The press release notes that the government is not the employer of nursing home workers, but Shepard noted collective agreements in the nursing home sector have typically followed wage settlement patterns for hospital workers, which ensures wage parity between the two sectors.

Shephard added, "we are working closely with the Nursing Home Association of New Brunswick to ensure contingency plans are in place for every possible scenario, but we hope it does not get to that stage."