New Brunswick CUPE members to return to work while they vote on a probationary agreement

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says about 20,000 workers in New Brunswick will return to work while the union presents a tentative agreement with the government to its members for a vote.

The union made the announcement around 8:30 pm Saturday, saying “members will return to work as soon as possible.”

“There will be no pickets tomorrow [Sunday], “reads the statement on the CUPE New Brunswick website and Facebook page.

This comes after the latest round of negotiations, which entered the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Thousands of public officials, including school bus drivers, educational support staff and workers in transportation, corrections and the community college system, have been on strike for more than two weeks.

Some aid workers in the health sector went on strike but were required to return to work from the province after one week.

In its statement Saturday evening, CUPE said locals 2745 and 1253 had reached a proposed memorandum of understanding on pension plans – something that was a major point of contention.

CUPE representatives and the province have also arrived at a proposed salary package that will be voted on by members in seven CUPE locals. CUPE said the government has agreed to make the package available to three other locals, which includes employees with community colleges and WorkSafeNB.

The union also said they are in the process of finalizing a trial deal for NB Liquor employees. Without an agreement, they will be in a legal strike position on Tuesday.

The New Brunswick government also issued a statement on Saturday night.

It said details of the reopening of schools have been finalized and will be announced on Sunday. The province moved all schools to home learning and locked a number of workers in the education sector after the strike began.

The government said both parties had agreed not to disclose details of the agreements publicly until they were ratified.

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