The Higgs government says it has reached tentative deals with four bargaining units representing more than 8,000 employees.
On Monday, the province announced tentative collective agreements with two units represented by the New Brunswick Nurses Union.
They include more than 6,000 registered nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse managers and nurse supervisors working in hospitals, public and community health programs, Ambulance NB and extra-mural programs.
“This tentative agreement is a result of working in a spirit of respect and collaboration,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “I thank the negotiating teams on both sides of the table for their hard work. We acknowledge there remains plenty of work ahead of us as we look to our common goal of stabilizing our health-care system and improving it to ensure it is sustainable for the future.”
A tentative agreement had been reached between the province and the two bargaining units earlier this summer but it was rejected by the membership.
“We returned to the table with government and the Conciliation Board, which has unanimously recommended two revised tentative agreements for the members of these bargaining units,” said Paula Doucet, president of the nurses union.
The province also announced tentative deals Monday with two bargaining units — specialized health-care professionals and professional support — represented by the New Brunswick Union.
It includes more than 1,400 pharmacists, psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, audiologists, dietitians and others working in the regional health authorities, along with about 250 school psychologists, social workers, speech language pathologists, behaviour intervention mentors and others working in the school districts.
“We are pleased to have reached a tentative deal with government,” said New Brunswick Union President Susie Proulx-Daigle. “The bargaining teams have done a lot of hard work to get here and now it will be up to the members to have their say through a ratification vote.”
All parties have agreed to withhold details of the agreements until they are ratified.