Monday, March 30, 2020
Nunavut Employees Union Government of Nunavut Bargaining Update #7 March 2020
In November 2019, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)-North/Nunavut Employees Union (NEU) Bargaining Team reported that the NEU had filed a Statement of Claim in the Nunavut Court of Justice, asserting that the Government of Nunavut (GN) had engaged in Bad Faith Bargaining. Since that time, the GN has filed a “Statement of Defence” (December 2019) and the NEU filed a “Reply to the Statement of Defence” (also in December 2019). While preparations are now under way for the case to be heard before the Court, a hearing is still several months away.
Your Bargaining Team understands that many Members may be frustrated with the delay in securing a new Collective Agreement because we are frustrated as well. We sat at the bargaining table and bargained in good faith with the GN in hopes of reaching a fair agreement that would address your needs. We felt we were making progress towards that goal, then the GN:
- clawed back almost half of a previous offer on the Nunavut Northern Allowance; and
- maintained on a wage offer well below inflation.
This left us with no choice but to declare an impasse and file our Bad Faith Bargaining complaint.
Now a new issue has arisen that will have a negative impact on the pace of Bargaining - the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone should understand the threat that this pandemic represents to Nunavut and the importance of working together to protect against its spread. The NEU and the PSAC do. So, while the NEU is in a legal position to mobilize for job action, we will not do so while there is a threat to the health and well-being of those that call Nunavut home and those that we work for. A time may soon come when we need to call on Members to put more pressure on the GN to achieve much-deserved improvements to their working conditions.
But now is not that time.
We will proceed with our Bad Faith Bargaining complaint, looking forward to a time when we can get back to the bargaining table and work towards reaching a fair agreement. As always, you are our strength at the table, and away from it.
Your PSAC-North/NEU Bargaining Team
Noel Collins, Simon Doiron, Linda Hunter, Ruth Kaluraq, Abe Qammaniq, Rick Roberts, William (Bill) Fennell (NEU President), Darren Pacione (PSAC Researcher), and John Eustace (PSAC Negotiator)