Provincial Government Files Request for Conciliation Board for Public Sector Bargaining

For Immediate Release:

Thursday, March 2, 2017

ST. JOHN’S, NL– On Friday, February 24, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) was served notice that the provincial government has requested the appointment of a Conciliation Board for six bargaining tables: Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC), School Boards, Laboratory and X-Ray (LX), Maintenance and Operational Services (MOS), Group Homes, and Marine Services.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that the provincial government has ever filed for conciliation in public sector bargaining. This move by the provincial government is unprecedented,” said NAPE President Jerry Earle. “The thing that is most aggravating and, quite frankly, insulting, about this move by the government is that most of our groups have only been to the table a couple of times. We were completely blindsided by this move.”

“Despite their assurances to us, the members we represent, and the general public, it appears as if the government is not giving this process the respect it deserves,” said Earle. “They are trying to rush the process along – to what end? At this point we are unsure.”

Conciliation services are provided to unions and employers to help the parties reach a collective agreement. Normally, this occurs when bargaining has gone on for some time or when progress at the table stalls. Either side may request conciliation.

“I can tell you personally, and on behalf of our bargaining teams and negotiators, that we are fully committed to reaching a deal at the bargaining table,” stated Earle. “I only hope that the government is as committed to this goal as we are. This latest development leads me to believe otherwise.”

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For further information, please contact:

Keith Dunne, NAPE Campaigns and Communications Coordinator

(phone) 709.570.2501              (cell) 709.631.9737                (email)