The pandemic continues to expose an ongoing workforce crisis in our province which has been affecting the public services available to New Brunswickers. Rather than address this challenge by improving wages and working conditions, the New Brunswick government has achieved a large surplus on the backs of public sector workers.
“The budget surplus was made possible by the sacrifices made by public sector workers. New Brunswick is experiencing a workforce crisis where it is difficult to recruit and retain the necessary staff to provide the essential services that New Brunswickers need,” says Daniel Legere, President of the New Brunswick Federation of Labour. “This workforce crisis will remain because this government is failing to address issues pertaining to wages and working conditions.”
New Brunswick public sector workers are among the lowest paid in the country. Over a decade of stagnant wages has resulted in a recruitment and retention crisis in most Departments, particularly in our schools, health care, and mental health services. For example, in July there were over 850 nursing jobs vacancies in the province. Further compounding this crisis is the fact that the provincial government did not access allof the federal funds available during the pandemic for wage top ups.
“Public sector workers have done their part during the pandemic, redeploying to different jobs because the province needed it and going to work, often understaffed, and putting themselves and their families at risk of contracting Covid-19,” says Legere. “It’s time for Premier Higgs to make the long neglected public sector workers a priority.”
The New Brunswick Federation of Labour is the central labour body in the province. It represents over 38,000 public and private sector unionized workers.
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(506) 857-2125 / (506) 381-8969 (cell)