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GNWT Bargaining Update #5

Government of the Northwest Territories
Mar 27, 2024

Talks between the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Union of Northern Workers for a new Collective Agreement are continuing with the assistance of a mediator.

After bargaining broke off last summer, the parties mutually agreed to mediation with British Columbia arbitrator and mediator Jacquie de Aguayo.

Since early this year, the mediator has been practicing “shuttle diplomacy” in an effort to break the logjam between the parties.

Key priorities for the Union include health care retention and recruitment, as well as reconciliation with Indigenous employees, who represent almost 30 per cent of the Union’s more than 5,500 members who work for the territorial government.

“Although Members of the Legislative Assembly have over the last two years also identified both of these issues as priorities, the Employer’s bargaining team has not addressed either of them in a meaningful way at the bargaining table,” says UNW President Gayla Thunstrom.

In fact, the Employer has demanded a key concession from the Union – a Letter of Understanding that would open the door to contracting out all of the GNWT’s 2,100 health care workers.

When the Employer drops its demands for concessions, the parties will be able to move forward to an agreement.

In solidarity,

Lauraine Armstrong
Cee Birch
Melvin Larocque
Adam Thom
Randy Thompson
Gayla Thunstrom, UNW President
Caitlin Lacey, UNW Assistant to the President
Djimy Theodore, PSAC Research Officer
Gail Lem, PSAC Negotiator