Re: Update on Government of Nunavut (GN) Negotiations

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February 2011

Dear NEU members of the GN bargaining unit,

The Nunavut Employees Union negotiating team has completed 3 rounds of negotiations.

The first round was from September 20 - 24, 2010 where NEU presented their package of proposals that had been approved at our collective bargaining conference in December 2009 (this package is on our website). The Employer presented a non-monetary set of proposals. It was noted that any proposal that was monetary or perceived to have a cost was not responded to by the Employer other than to say it was monetary and it would be discussed later.

The outcome from round 1 was: 1. Union's proposal with Article 38 was agreed; 2.some grammatical, and reference "typos" changes of the administrative order were agreed to in Articles 2, 15, 18, 22, 24, 26, 28, 35, 38, 40, 52, Group 3 and Group 5; Employer agreed to the Union's proposal regarding the implementation of MOU#11 in the current collective agreement which modified Group 6 School Year Employees.

The second round of negotiations was from October 24 - 29, 2010. During this round there were more discussions with some counter-proposals and information / evidence being presented around certain topics and proposals like casual hire, operational requirements, cancellation of approved vacation leave, "IQ" days, Personal Leave Without Pay, separate cheques, Criminal Charges, Group 3 (Nunavut Arctic College Educators), & Group 5 (Health Care Workers).

The outcome from round 2 was: new contract language agreed to regarding "operational requirements" (Article 17); new contract language agreed to regarding "Cancellation of Approved Vacation Leave" (Article 18); increase in the number of days for Duty Travel per diem eligibility and commercial accommodations (Article 41); & new contract language agreed to concerning working outside one's job description (Article 32).

The third round of negotiations was from December 12 - 17, 2010. During this round NEU presented a more specific monetary package. As well further counter proposals and discussion took place around proposals like Group 2 (Employees at the Correctional Facilities), Group 3 ( College Educators), Criminal Charges, Group 5 (Health Care Workers) and the Union's proposal on maternity & parental leave modifications.

The basic elements of the Union's monetary package of proposals were:

5 % increase per year effective October 1st, 2010
Fix the gap in the pay grid that exists between Pay Range 11 and Pay Range 12
Implementation of a new and improved Nunavut Northern Allowance that would honour by grandfathering (or grand parenting) existing levels if the allowance was to decrease upon implementation. This allowance is based upon the study that is referenced in MOU # 9 of the current collective agreement. That study is also available on our website entitled "NNA Review - Final Report".
Vacation Travel Assistances (aka VTAs)

The outcome from round 3 was: agreement on a new MOU regarding a Union - Management committee to discuss training & uniforms for Group 2 (Employees at Correctional Facilities); Employer agreed to the Union's proposal regarding the implementation of MOU#10 in the current collective agreement which modified Group 2 (Employees at Correctional Facilities) & agreement to changes in maternity + parental leave provisions.

Our next round of negotiations is during the week of April 5th, 2011 where we are anticipating more discussions about the outstanding proposals with our non-monetary package and all of our monetary proposals.

The challenge that NEU and the membership finds itself in this environment of uncertainty with so many different factors at play notwithstanding that the GN is working at a about a 30% vacancy rate.

For now, in solidarity,

Douglas M. Workman
Nunavut Employees Union

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