The information and advisories surrounding COVID-19 are constantly evolving. The UNW is closely monitoring all advisories and recommendations from NWT and national health authorities regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you have questions or concerns about safety or policies in your workplace, talk to your supervisor or Union Rep.

    Following the end of the Public Health State of Emergency on April 1, 2022, the UNW is opening up to the public and in-person meetings with a phased in approach. For the health and safety of our staff and members, there are some continuing internal restrictions and guidelines which may be above and beyond CPHO orders and recommendations.

    The UNW Training Rooms on the main floor of the North Star Building remain closed to groups outside the UNW.

    All Meetings

    • All attendees must be fully vaccinated and masking is mandatory for all attendees. This information must be publicized on meeting notices, posters, etc.

    • No-one may attend in person if they are experiencing Covid symptoms or have tested positive for Covid in the last 7 days.

    Local and Regional Meetings 

    • Locals executives may choose to have either face to face OR virtual executive meetings.
    • Locals and RVPs may choose to have either face to face or virtual or a combination face to face/virtual general membership meetings.

    Official site for information on Covid-19 in the NWT:

    Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety:

    PSAC COVID-19 Webinars:

    Information about Federal Benefits for individuals and families:

    Information from PSAC:

    Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination:

    Guidance provided by the NWT Health and Social Services Authority:

    The NWT Human Rights Commission has also issued some guidance on proof of vaccination and vaccine policies as they relate to human rights:

    On Friday, April 1, 2022, the Employer (GNWT) sent a Q&A to employees that included:

    “Q: Will COVID leave codes still be available? *UPDATED*

    A: No. The Department of Finance announced on 01 April 2022 that COVID leave codes would not longer be available on 01 April 2022. If employees are unable to attend work due to an illness or an illness in their household, they will be required to use leave from their existing sick and special leave banks.”

    The UNW disagrees with the Employer’s position. Covid Paid Sick Leave and Covid Special Leave (for isolation) were negotiated into the current collective agreement, and the Employer cannot unilaterally take away these codes. When the collective agreement expires in March 2023, the Employer can negotiate a change at that time.

    The Letter of Understanding in the Collective Agreement states:


    In recognition of the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent public health orders issued by the Chief Public Health Officer of the Northwest Territories, the parties agree that COVID-19 related sick leave and special leave will no longer draw from employees’ existing sick leave and special leave banks. The Employer has introduced new COVID-19 paid sick leave and New COVID-19 special isolation leave codes. Time previously entered as sick leave or special isolation leave due to COVID-19 will be reinstated in employees’ respective leave banks.

    Although the public health emergency has not been extended, the pandemic has not ended; Covid-19 is still very active and case numbers are still very high in the NWT. The employer should be protecting the health and safety of workers.

    If you are forced to use your regular Sick Leave or Special Leave banks while you are ill or self-isolating due to Covid-19, or caring for someone who is ill or self-isolating due to Covid-19, please take the following steps:

    1. Email your supervisor requesting they grant Covid Sick or Covid Special as per the LOU signed at the completion of the last round of bargaining (it is included in the GNWT Ratification Kit). It is important that you have it in writing that you requested and were denied use of Covid Sick or Covid Special leave.
    2. Complete and submit the following forms (instructions on how to complete and submit these forms are on page one of the Grievance form):

    Safe and healthy workplaces are a top priority for the UNW, and it is important for workers to be able to stay home when they are sick.

    If you have any questions or concerns about filing a grievance, please speak to your Union rep or contact your service officer.