FREDERICTON (CNB) – The provincial government has signed a four-year contract with the Specialized Health Care Professionals Group.

This group includes 1,250 social workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, audiologists, speech language pathologists, dietitians and psychologists.

Finance Minister Blaine Higgs, who is also minister of human resources, and Health Minister Madeleine Dubé signed the contract today.

"This is the second contract we have signed in two weeks that respects the wage restraint policy, including a two-year wage freeze followed by general economic increases of two per cent in years three and four," said Higgs. "Negotiators on both sides of the table can be proud of their dedication in reaching this agreement as well as their acknowledgement of the province's fiscal challenges."

"These professionals play an important role in our health-care system by delivering services that benefit many New Brunswickers," said Dubé.  "I am pleased that negotiators were able to reach an agreement and sign this contract."