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Media Release: Union response to City of Yellowknife request for arbitration

Feb 24, 2023

YELLOWKNIFE: Just after 4:00pm on Wednesday, February 22, the UNW/PSAC bargaining team received a request from the employer to enter into binding arbitration. We are disappointed that the request was made public before the bargaining team had a chance to meet with members, assess, and respond.

After giving the bargaining team time to respond to the City and discuss with the Local 345 membership today, the UNW/PSAC can confirm that the bargaining team has declined the City’s request.

The timing of the City’s tells us that the efforts of our membership are not going unnoticed. The pickets are working, and our members are united behind their bargaining team.

Every negotiation is different, and in each situation, the union will choose the path that we feel will lead to the best possible outcome for our members. The Union is of the strong position that the best outcome is for the parties to negotiate a settlement at the bargaining table and not hand over their responsibilities – for which they have been elected or appointed – to a binding third party.

Additionally, getting a result form an arbitration could take several weeks. At this point, we still believe that the best way to come to a deal is through negotiation.

Our members greatly appreciate all the support they’ve received from unions across the country, and the residents they serve here in Yellowknife.

We are still hopeful that we can bring the employer back to the table and get them to move on wages.


Gayla Thunstrom, UNW President
Lorraine Rousseau, PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President, North


For media inquiries, please contact:

Adrienne Cartwright, UNW –
Yusur Al-Bahrani, PSAC North -