Temporary court order puts New Brunswick nursing home workers’ strike on hold

A temporary court order has averted a strike of New Brunswick nursing home workers that was set to begin on Sunday.

The order, issued by the Court of Queen’s Bench on Saturday, will stop the approximately 4,100 nursing home workers at 45 of the province’s 46 nursing homes from heading to the picket lines for 10 days.

The only centre exempt from the order is the York Care Centre in Fredericton, N.B. They are a test facility and fall under different legislation than the other care homes.

The province’s Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard, says that although she supports the collective bargaining process, the health and safety of nursing home residents is her “primary concern.”

“[The order] provides some peace of mind for residents and families and provides time for the parties to get back to the negotiating table,” said Shephard in a release issued late on Saturday.

Shephard maintains that the government believes nursing home workers should be designated as an essential service.

“This is about the health and safety or residents and not the right of employees to strike. That is why the government took the action it did this week,” Shephard said.

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