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Media Release: Labour Market Supplement

Oct 05, 2022

YELLOWKNIFE: The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and Union of Northern Workers (UNW) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide a temporary Labour Market Supplement in the form of a recruitment and/or retention payment depending on community, eligible positions, and type of employment.

The Labour Market Supplement is designed to be an incentive to those seeking employment in the eligible positions and to incentivize those already employed over the next two years.

Under the MOU, temporary Labour Market Supplements will be applied as retention bonuses for Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Midwives, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Medical Laboratory Technologists in eligible positions. Employees in eligible positions will receive $5,000 if located in Yellowknife; $6,000 if located in Fort Smith or Inuvik; and $7,000 if located in any other NWT community.

In addition, temporary Labour Market Supplements in the same amounts will be applied as recruitment bonuses for new hires into eligible positions for Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners and Midwives.

The MOU will be in effect from October 1, 2022, until October 1, 2024.


“The Union recognizes this LMS as an important first step toward addressing the recruitment and retention problems in our healthcare system, and we look forward to further opportunities to work with the employer to find more comprehensive solutions.”
- Gayla Thunstrom, President, Union of Northern Workers.

“The GNWT and UNW have been working hard to collaboratively address staffing concerns in the health and social services sector. I am pleased to announce that we’ve signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will support the recruitment and retention of healthcare staff over the next two years. The GNWT is taking action to ensure the solutions implemented are sustainable and include policies and processes that will help to prevent future staffing shortages.”
- Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance, Minister Responsible for Public Service

“Recruiting and retaining health care staff has been a significant challenge for the NWT and for jurisdictions across the country. There is very high demand for a limited pool of professionals. This supplement, combined with our other recently announced initiatives, will enable the GNWT to be more competitive in our recruitment efforts and to be responsive to the needs of existing staff.
- Julie Green, Minister of Health and Social Services

Quick facts

  • The Collective Agreement provides the option for the GNWT and the Union to negotiate a Labour Market Supplement that can be used to deal with recruitment and retention problems  resulting from unusual labour shortages.
  • A Labour Market Supplement (LMS) is one tool being employed to address the many concerns being heard from staff in health care professions.
  • The MOU applies to full or part time, term, and indeterminate employees and includes provisions for indeterminate relief employees.  Term and part time employees receive a pro-rated amount as do relief employees who have worked 50% or more of the full-time equivalent hours.

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