Signing Ceremony between the Government of Nunavut and the Nunavut Employees Union

Friday, November 10, 2023

GN and NEU collaborate to improve recruitment and retention of health professionals

Iqaluit, Nunavut (November 10, 2023) –The Government of Nunavut (GN) and the Nunavut Employees Union (NEU) recently signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for accredited healthcare professionals in the territory.

The memorandum will allow the GN’s Department of Health to enhance access to quality healthcare for Nunavummiut by providing incentives to attract and retain highly skilled and dedicated healthcare professionals to Nunavut. 

“Nunavummiut need and deserve a sustainable and skilled healthcare workforce. These measures support timely access to care, better health outcomes, health-system cost effectiveness, and patient satisfaction,” said Minister of Health John Main. “The signing of this agreement shows our strong interdepartmental collaboration on healthcare workforce needs in Nunavut. I thank the Department of Health, the Department of Human Resources, as well as the NEU for their work on this initiative.”

Incentives in the MOU include:

  • Hourly wage premiums that prioritize difficult-to-recruit positions and communities facing staff shortages.
  • Incentives to enhance staffing during high-demand time periods.
  • Recruitment and retention bonuses that recognize multiple years of service.
  • Financial Assistance for Nunavut Students loan forgiveness of up to 20 per cent.
  • A return-of-service pilot program that offers tuition reimbursement in exchange for full-time service within the territory.

“The healthcare workforce shortage is reaching critical levels that extend well beyond Nunavut,” said Minister of Human Resources Margaret Nakashuk. “This is why the Departments of Human Resources and Health are rising to the challenge with innovative solutions and incentives to attract and retain skilled workers. Our commitment to investing in the healthcare workforce is reflected in this agreement.”

“We look at this MOU as a positive step in addressing the healthcare crisis that is facing Nunavut,” said NEU President Jason Rochon. “Our healthcare members are dedicated professionals who have always been there for Nunavummiut. This understanding will help to ensure that proper staffing and retention will alleviate some of the pressure on current healthcare workers and improve access to healthcare across Nunavut.”

The agreement will remain in effect until August 1, 2025.

Media Contacts:


Government of Nunavut:


Danarae Sommerville
A/ Manager of Communications
Department of Health

Irma Arkus

Manager of Communications

Department of Human Resources




Nunavut Employees Union:

James Kaylor

Communications Officer

Nunavut Employees Union



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