FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government filed a complaint today with the New Brunswick Labour and Employment Board, alleging Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1190 is engaging in unfair labour practices and bad faith bargaining.

“We received evidence that CUPE Local 1190 has posted signs in workplaces that misrepresent the province’s offer in an effort to encourage their members to vote in favour of a strike,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “This is very disappointing and appears to indicate CUPE is more interested in going on strike than it is in making a reasonable and good-faith effort to conclude a collective agreement.”

A union poster urges its members to vote “yes” for a strike if they feel casual employees deserve to be paid more than 80 per cent of the job rate and if they feel a wage increase of zero per cent for the first six months and 0.5 per cent every six months thereafter is insufficient.

Both union statements about the province’s offer are false, said Higgs. The government offer includes increasing the pay of casuals with less than six consecutive months of service from 80 per cent to 100 per cent of the regular job rate. The offer also includes wage increases, starting on the first day of a contract – not six months later – of 0.625 per cent every six months, rather than 0.5 per cent, during the first four years; and wage increases of one per cent every six months during the last two years of a six-year term.

CUPE Local 1190 represents more than 1,500 workers, including tradespersons, operations workers, maintenance repair workers and others working mainly at the departments of Transportation and Infrastructure, Tourism, Heritage and Culture, and Service New Brunswick.