Skip to main content

GNWT Bargaining Update #6

Government of the Northwest Territories
Apr 24, 2024

Your union bargaining team met with the mediator April 18-20.  Your bargaining team was all together in person, and the mediator shuttled virtually between the Union team and the Employer.

As I’m sure you read in the news this week, we were unfortunately unable to reach a deal. Your bargaining team was committed to continue working but the mediator called an impasse on Saturday evening very shortly after meeting with the Employer, stating the parties were too far apart. 

Your bargaining team is extremely disappointed and felt there had been significant movement and there could have been a deal. 

We are also disappointed that the Employer chose to go directly to the media rather than work with us to ensure you received this information before it was made public.

The parties are now preparing their final packages to present to the mediator, which are due May 3. The mediator will then write non-binding recommendations for a settlement, which the parties will have the opportunity to review and either accept or reject. 

If both parties accept the recommendations, your union will bring the resulting tentative agreement to the membership for a ratification vote. If either party rejects the recommendations, we will begin preparations for strike votes asking the members for support. 

Either way, your support for your bargaining team is valued and appreciated!

While we are disappointed that we couldn’t reach a deal – and we are sure you are too – your team worked hard, trying to get a deal that would mean REAL gains for the members in the areas of wages, healthcare, and Reconciliation.

As a government, the GNWT has made countless commitments to improving recruitment and retention – across all sectors, but especially in healthcare – and to advancing Reconciliation, but as an Employer, we have not seen sufficient action in these areas.

We still are hopeful that the parties will be able to come to an agreement addressing these concerns and providing a meaningful path forward for improving our public service for all northerners.

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