FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard in relation to ongoing negotiations with CUPE nursing home workers:

Provincial government representatives have been meeting for several days with the New Brunswick Council of Nursing Home Unions, which represents CUPE employees at 46 nursing homes in New Brunswick.

Discussions throughout the talks have been respectful and collegial, but unfortunately this afternoon, we reached an impasse. Although we are open to returning to the table to talk, no further negotiations are scheduled at this time.

We do continue to remain optimistic that a negotiated agreement will eventually be reached that is fair to nursing home employees and to residents. However, we must also take into account that as a government we are restricted by our province’s fiscal reality and must also be fair to New Brunswick taxpayers.

We look forward to resuming discussions with the union not only on wage increases and benefits, but also addressing areas that will improve working conditions for workers and care to nursing home residents.