Temporary stay order granted in Nursing Home strike

The province says a temporary stay order has been granted by the Court of Queen's Bench for 10 days in the labour dispute between the New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Unions (NBCNHU) and the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes.

NBCNHU members voted in favour of a strike on Thursday in the dispute over wages and staffing levels.

In a press release yesterday, the Department of Social Development says the temporary stay order prohibits employees at 45 nursing homes from taking legal strike action during the period.

On the temporary stay order, Social Development Minister Dorothy Sheppard says, "this provides peace of mind for residents and families and provides time for the parties to get back to the negotiating table."

According to the press release, an exception was granted to employees at York Care Centre, though a message on the facility's website suggests the stay order mandates that licenced practical nurses and resident attendants cannot withdraw their services during the period.

York Care Centre says it is unclear as to the ruling on its support personnel, including dietary services personnel and environmental services personnel, and is seeking clarity.

On the strike action by NBCNHU members, Minister Sheppard says, "I believe very strongly that the service they provide should be designated essential so an appropriate number of essential staff are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents."

According to a press release from the NBCNHU on Friday, its members have been without a contract for 28 months.