GNWT Collective Agreement Ratified - 2021

Government of the Northwest Territories
Aug 19, 2021

The Union of Northern Workers (UNW) and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) are pleased to announce that they have ratified a new collective agreement.

This new agreement is effective April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2023.

Negotiations for a new collective agreement began on March 9, 2021 and ended on May 31, 2021 when both sides reached a tentative agreement.

The previous collective agreement between the UNW and the GNWT expired on March 31, 2021.


“During this round of bargaining, both sides came together to listen, have conversations, and to find middle ground. Overall, the Union is pleased with the process and the results.”
- Todd Parsons, UNW President

“Employees are the GNWT’s most important resource, and it is essential that we have a fair and sustainable contract in place with them so that we continue to maintain an efficient, effective, and sustainable public service. I am pleased that the UNW and GNWT were able to ratify the new collective agreement, and I would like to commend the negotiating teams for their commitment and collaboration.”
- Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance

Quick facts:

The collective agreement will be for a two-year term commencing retroactively on April 1, 2021 with a salary increase of 1.5%, and an additional 1.5% increase on April 1, 2022.

Some other elements of the agreement include the following.

  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was achieved to facilitate discussion with the UNW to assist the college in its transformation towards a Polytechnic University.
  • Improvements to the Layoff and Retention articles of the Collective Agreement to allow improved and earlier engagement for employees to access GNWT opportunities, with a focus on retaining impacted employees.
  • Changes to Domestic Violence and Caregiver Leave to reflect alignment with Employment Standard legislation.
  • Removed binary pronouns from the Collective Agreement.
  • An additional day to travel for medical reasons was added for out of territory medical travel.
  • Northern Living Allowance will revert to the April 1, 2020 totals.
  • The GNWT will contribute $.02/hr to the PSAC Social Justice Fund of which 50% will be allocated to NWT United Way.
  • An additional week of annual leave carry-over will be available in each year of the contract to allow public servants who otherwise have been required to provide service during the pandemic an opportunity to use leave at a later date.

All members were mailed or emailed a copy of the full changes in June with the ratification vote information.

Once finalized, a copy of the new Collective Agreement will be posted to the UNW website.

Please send anymedia inquiries to:

UNW Communications Officer
p. 867-447-0433