In recent years, the provincial government has faced fiscal challenges largely related to lower oil prices and rising costs of service delivery, particularly in the health sector. The province is working with deficit budgets and its net debt is increasing. In recent times, pay cuts have been a common feature of NAPE-government agreements. In all negotiations, Earle stated that the union wanted to avoid union action, but added that it was the workers` right to consider this option. Over the past two years, the workers represented by NAPE have ratified 51 collective agreements. The only case where there were labour disputes at that time was when the City of Paradise released unionized employees. The new collective agreement covers approximately 550 home and youth facilitators in Newfoundland and Labrador. NAPE has ratified new collective agreements with 24 home care and youth institutions across the province. “Home care is at a very critical time,” Earle said. “We were in conciliation. We have 27 agents to negotiate. There are 20 that we have met in conciliation.

Employers simply did not take the bargaining committee seriously, so we are very concerned. We asked for a written report. … At the end of the day, we will consult with our members if we do not reach a collective agreement. They offer invaluable service, and they are primarily women – more than 95 per cent. I think there`s a way. Behind the scenes, there were a few conversations we had. I think we can find a resolution. A collective agreement with prison officers expires next Thursday, with most of the union`s agreements with the government expiring on March 31, 2020. Earle said 15 negotiating teams would work in the coming months. NAPE is currently trying to secure new offers for homeworkers. 51 collective agreements in the last two years, only one work action, workers have been blocked in the Paradise City. Earle says NAPE is willing to negotiate, fight and win. The Union hopes that the agreements ratified with the Group of 17 and the facilitators will quickly find a solution to these remaining rounds of negotiations. St. John`s (Oct 20, 2015) – Caregivers Inc. facilitators, members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE), voted to ratify their new collective agreement. NAPE/NUPGE is still in various stages of negotiations with the following home care agencies: Tender Loving Care, South Coast Home Care, All Care Home Assistance, Angel`s Touch Home Care, Caring Hands Home Care, Placentia Home Care/Home Sweet Home and In Home Health Care. “I would like to congratulate the negotiating team for their hard work and determination to reach an agreement that is favourable to home facilitators and young people. The conclusion of this agreement will allow them to focus on helping and caring for those in need of the highest quality in our province. Since NAPE/NUPGE is still at the negotiating table with several home care agencies, details of the agreement will not be published at this stage so as not to influence the remaining negotiations.

Earle is aware of these issues, but says there are ways the province can help forward workers in a new collective agreement. Jerry Earle is now approaching the next round of collective bargaining in the public sector, saying the NAPE is preparing not to accept the status quo of the minority Liberal government. “workers in Newfoundland and Labrador do not have excessive incomes.