Some of these dates go back to the past, as both sides are still negotiating a collective agreement that should have come into force in 2016. In his report, Ready said it would be an “euphemism” to say that the negotiations are “difficult and sometimes controversial.” He said the two sides “worked hard” during the conciliation to resolve their differences, but that the discussions were “mainly met with some employment security issues, the duration of the agreement and economic increases.” Stewart also said the government would check how negotiations failed to improve their process in two years – the next time the collective agreement is under discussion. The union did not give an interview on the agreement, but on Monday CBC received a memo on the union`s letter to its membership. It says, “There are a few areas where the union needs clarification,” without specifying what those areas are. The region argues that for almost all workers, with the exception of those who are already at the top of their current wage scale position, would be added an additional step increase of 2.6 percent per year, meaning an average pay increase per employee of 9.2 percent on the five-year contract. Conciliation dates are scheduled for February 8 and 9. The union is also working on separate collective agreements with the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority and the NWT Power Corporation, both of which are scheduled for further mediation meetings in the same week. The document adds, “The proposed collective agreement would result in an average increase in total compensation of approximately $22,000 over the life of the collective agreement.” Negotiating a new collective agreement can be difficult under ideal conditions. The current fiscal and economic environment has been an additional challenge,” Finance Minister Robert C. McLeod said in the communication.
The memo also stated that a meeting of members would be held in the “coming weeks” to discuss the agreement. The government has now received Ready`s report and says it will form with the Northern Workers Union to “discuss the implementation of the new collective agreement.” After years of dispute that nearly led to a general strike in February, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the union, which represents about 4,000 employees, have a new collective agreement. The document states that GNWT employees will be received under the terms of the agreement: Cabin Radio has approached the Northern Workers Union to issue a notice. At the time of publication, the CBC could not confirm the authenticity of the memo with UNW management, but several union members confirmed that they had received the memo. According to the press release, the agreement has no salary increase in the first two years, but includes a retroactive increase of 1.6 per cent on April 1, 2018, followed by a further increase of 2.3 per cent on 1 April 2019 and an increase of 2.5 per cent in 2020. The government`s wage offer was not increased in the first two years, followed by a 1.4 per cent increase in 2018 and 2019 and a 1.7 per cent increase in 2020.