Dec. 13, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government and the New Brunswick Nurses Union have agreed to engage a special mediator to help them negotiate a new collective agreement. Human Resources Minister Rick Brewer and Marilyn Quinn, union president, made the announcement today.
John McEvoy, a University of New Brunswick law professor, has been appointed by the chairman of the labour and employment board to help the two parties reach a contract for 5,500 hospital registered nurses, public health nurses and community health nurses.
"This is an extremely positive step," said Brewer. "Both parties are committed to returning to the table and finding a compromise that will meet the needs of nurses and be fiscally responsible in these difficult economic times. Our government has heard nurses' concerns about working conditions, and we are eager to find solutions so they may remain on the job and continue providing top-quality care to the people of New Brunswick."
McEvoy will meet with the government and the union next week to begin negotiations. Dates have been reserved for further negotiations in early January 2009.
"While these negotiations are taking place, the union will postpone any strike action," said Quinn. "There will be no strike over Christmas. We are hopeful that our concerns about working conditions can be resolved at the negotiating table."
MEDIA CONTACTS: Sarah Ketcheson, communications, Office of Human Resources 506-444-5816; George Bergeron, member relations and communications Specialist, New Brunswick Nurses Union, 506-453-0839, 506-470-6785 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org.