The New Brunswick NDP stands with Mackenzie Thomason and Public Sector Workers in  saying “YES” to collective job action, organized across the province by CUPE New Brunswick.  Mackenzie, a member of CUPE 1253, announced yesterday that he voted in favor of strike action. 

Mackenzie and the NB NDP extend their unwavering support to all workers seeking better pay,  stronger benefits and improved working conditions. “I want to congratulate my fellow CUPE Members on  the strong message we sent the Higgs Government! We have shown through these strike votes that we are  done waiting for the government to give us what we deserve, and we are done taking zeros.” Thomason  said in a statement today. 

Negotiations broke down between Public Sector Unions and the Government because consecutive  Liberal and Conservative Premiers have refused to invest in the public service their residents regularly  depend on. This refusal to invest in public services has left workers steadily falling behind. The NB NDP  cannot stand idly by while the Higgs Government continues to force New Brunswickers into tighter and  tighter financial situations. 

New Brunswick’s Public Sector Workers are among the lowest paid in Canada, they deserve the  same pay, protections and benefits enjoyed by public sector employees in other provinces. It is a  conscious decision of the current government to ignore that disparity. “Inaction by this and previous  governments is forcing our quickly aging workforce to seek employment in other provinces; further  harming our public services by worsening existing problems with recruitment and retention.” Thomason  responded when asked about the strike action. “The NB NDP not only recognizes, but entirely agrees with  New Brunswick’s Public Sector Workers’ call to action at this crucial time.” 

Frontline workers have struggled through a year and a half long pandemic, they want and deserve fair  compensation. Liberal and Conservative governments have shown their unwillingness to treat low and  moderately waged people with respect. They have refused, and continue to avoid tackling the Housing  

Crisis, and when the cost of living skyrocketed this year Minimum Wage earners were given a raise of 5  cents an hour. This is why the NB NDP is proposing minimum wage increases, public housing initiatives  and an improved public transit system so that all New Brunswickers can succeed in their day to day lives.  There isn’t a labour shortage in New Brunswick, but a wage shortage. 

It is the absolute position of the NB NDP to support all calls against unfair wages and austerity  measures because we know economic growth is easier when those who are skilled and dedicated to  their jobs are encouraged to remain here in the province. Workers should not have to consider leaving New Brunswick to receive fair compensation or have affordable housing. This belief is carried through to  the policy we use to help all New Brunswickers achieve a brighter future.

Contact: Alex Gagne, NB NDP Communications Director 

Tel: (506) 458-5828