Re: Update on Government of Nunavut (GN) Negotiations

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Dear NEU members of the GN bargaining unit,

Since our last update, NEU has been involved on many different aspects with negotiating a collective agreement with the Government of Nunavut.

After NEU's negotiating team walked away from the negotiating table on April 8th, we applied for mediation to the Minister Responsible for the Public Service Act (Minister Tootoo) along with an application to PSAC for a strike mandate vote which is the usual next steps in the process to achieving a collective agreement. On May 6th, we received the Minister's reply which was a request to forgo mediation and continue with negotiations. I accepted this invitation in the course of a CBC interview.

Since then both negotiators have been trying to agree on dates for this next round of negotiations. We are anticipating mid-September dates at this point.

Also, we have noted some changes that may have some effect on our negotiations. They include the change with the Minister Responsible for the Public Service Act (this happened twice since we started negotiating last September when Mr. Shewchuk was replaced by Mr. Tootoo who was replaced with Mr. Shewchuk); a change with the Deputy Minister of Finance (Mr. Ma to Mr. D'Arcy); & a change with the Nunavut Arctic College President (Mr. Vandermeulen).

As well, I have been negotiating the Essential Services agreement that seems never-ending and very time consuming given the amount of re-organizing that GN has undertaken since 2001.

For now NEU is doing more research into our financial proposals and developing counter-proposals for GN's not-so-agree-able proposals so that we can be ready for the next round of negotiations.

In solidarity,

Douglas M. Workman
Nunavut Employees Union 

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