FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2017- Iqaluit, NU - Members of the Nunavut Employees Union (NEU)/Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) working for the City of Iqaluit have ratified a tentative agreement reached between City and Union Representatives late on Wednesday December 13th.
Negotiations had been going on for nearly two years after the previous agreement had expired on December 31, 2015. The new Collective Agreement becomes effective immediately and will cover the more than 100 unionized employees working for the City of Iqaluit for the next two years.
“We cannot really say we are pleased with this agreement, as it is filled with concessions that will have a negative impact on new City employees,” said Bill Fennell, President of the Nunavut Employees Union (NEU). “However, we are pleased that we were able to avoid a prolonged and unnecessary strike that would not have been in the interests of our Members or the citizens of Iqaluit.”
The deal was put to a vote by Union Members on December 14th and 15th and was the result of an eleventh-hour agreement between the City and Union bargaining teams.
“The Union appreciates the last-minute efforts of the City Council and Mayor to break the deadlock that would have resulted in a strike vote,” Fennell added. “We know that the fiscal situation of the City is not favourable. We listened to those concerns and chose to do our part as Iqaluit citizens.”
While Union Members voted to ratify the tentative agreement, there is still work to be done to improve the relationship between City employees and management.
“We need to be able to work together on many important issues, such as impractical, fatigue-inducing schedules that are affecting the health, safety and morale of Emergency Services workers,” remarked Jack Bourassa Vice President of PSAC North. “The City itself has identified the risks to employees and potentially the public and this issue was not addressed in this agreement. We need to get moving on these kinds of crucial issues.”
About the Nunavut Employees Union: The Nunavut Employees Union (NEU), a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), represents more than 4,200 workers working for Nunavut and the diverse communities that make up the Territory. The NEU formally came into existence in 1998 just before the official birth of the great Territory of Nunavut in 1999. Its roots in working for those that make Nunavut work dates back well before that as does Nunavut’s true history.
For media inquiries please contact:
James Kaylor Communications Officer NEU
Telephone: 867.222.2436 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org