The Office of the Official Opposition is calling on the Higgs government to open a dialogue with New Brunswick’s Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) and facilitate their bid for representation by the United Brotherhood and Carpenters and Joiners of America.
Recently, an Application for Certification was made by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local 2717, pursuant to section 25 of the Public Service Labour Relations Act, to represent a bargaining unit comprised of Licensed Practical Nurses. The Labour & Employment Board recently rejected the request. Her Majesty in Right of the Province of New Brunswick as Employer filed a reply in opposition to the application.
“New Brunswick is facing a critical healthcare professional shortage and Premier Higgs will be the first to use that as an excuse to make cuts in healthcare but is doing very little to stop the exodus of our nurses to other provinces” says Liberal Health critic Jean-Claude D’Amours. “There is growing frustration amongst the Licensed Practical Nurses about their situation, and many are leaving the province. The Higgs government’s lack of action in helping LPN’s establish a stronger voice is only aggravating the situation, many are feeling disheartened and abandoned by their government.”
Official Opposition Leader, Roger Melanson sent a letter today to Premier Higgs supporting the LPN’s and urging him to act quickly in response to their concerns. Last week, three letters were sent in support of the LPN’s request on behalf of the Official Opposition. A letter was sent to Minister Shephard from Jean-Claude D’Amours, another was sent to Minister Steeves from Rob McKee, and one was sent to Minister Holder from Lisa Harris.
“Premier Higgs and his government need to recognize the crucial role of LPN’s, support them in their efforts and ensure their voices are heard” says D’Amours. “We need to be doing everything in our power to attract new nurses and retain our nursing graduates, but instead the Higgs government is blocking efforts by the LPNs to improve their situation.”