FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government announced today that it is terminating the process to outsource food, environmental and portering services at hospitals.

“In 2014, the former administration began the process to outsource. In the interests of continuity, we allowed this process to continue,” said Health Minister Benoît Bourque. “Our commitment has always been about increasing quality, effectiveness and efficiency of services. At the appropriate time, we did our due diligence by striking a joint-task force that has worked extremely hard to identify opportunities for improvement of these services within the public sector, and we are satisfied that the regional health authorities will be able to achieve such a mandate over time.”

In August 2017, a government-labour steering committee was established and it identified this as an opportunity to collaborate.

In December of 2017, the joint labour-government steering committee launched the Task Force on Food, Environmental and Portering Services. The mandate of the task force was to identify the current gaps and opportunities with respect to the provision of food, environmental and portering services within the regional health authorities.

“We were pleased to play a role in the task force and in the outcome of the work,” said Daniel Légère, president of CUPE New Brunswick.

“This announcement is good news for our members,” said Norma Robinson, president of CUPE 1252. “We are committed to work with government in future collective bargaining processes to ensure that optimal labour conditions are in place to modernize and improve these public services in the coming years.”

The Department of Health will now direct the regional health authorities to propose a long-term plan to transform the delivery of food, environmental and portering services to be submitted to government in the coming year.

The government will communicate with the proponents that participated in the 2014 request-for-proposal process to inform them that the process has been terminated.