N.B. nursing home workers reject premier's offer of binding arbitration with conditions

The New Brunswick Council of Nursing Homes Unions is rejecting the provincial government's offer of binding arbitration for nursing home workers.

Council president Sharon Teare says premier Blaine Higgs' only wanted to create the illusion of binding arbitration when he said last Friday that he'd only consider the matter if the arbitrator was kept from offering more than 1% annual wage increase.

Teare says the Higgs government fears an impartial arbitrator would see the ongoing crisis faced by workers and residents.

A court order is preventing the workers from striking for the time-being.

Teare says workers have been stripped of their legal right to strike, and that until the courts reconfirm the unconstitutional nature of the 'Essential Services Act' for nursing homes, their constitutional rights are in limbo.

She says unfettered binding arbitration is the most appropriate remedy at this time.