FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswick students will return to class on Monday, Nov. 15, and other services will return to normal as soon as possible after the provincial government reached tentative agreements with seven local bargaining units represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) on Saturday.

“I congratulate and thank the negotiating teams from both sides for their hard work and dedication in helping us achieve these tentative agreements,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “It is through their perseverance and genuine determination on both sides to do what is right for our employees and all residents that we have been able to reach an agreement.”

The tentative collective agreements affect more than 20,000 workers represented by CUPE in Parts I, II and III of the public service.

They include road maintenance and parks workers, correctional officers, social workers, court stenographers, laundry workers, school custodians and bus drivers, education assistants, patient care attendants and food and environmental service workers in hospitals.

“This has been a long process and we are extremely pleased to have reached a resolution with these employees, who provide valuable services for New Brunswickers,” said Higgs. “I thank the CUPE leadership and their members. We welcome their return to work.”

Schools in all districts will reopen to students on Monday, Nov. 15, while classes at New Brunswick’s community colleges will resume on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

“I also thank parents, students and everyone in the education system for being patient during this time and coping with the day-to-day disruptions,” said Higgs. “I know this has not been easy and I know you are anxious to get back to your normal routines.”

CUPE workers will vote on the tentative agreements in the coming weeks. Details will not be shared publicly pending ratification.