NEWS: Nunavik April 12, 2018 - 11:30 am

Nunavik union votes to step up pressure tactics

KRG employees without a contract since 2015

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The Kativik Regional Government Employees Union voted this week to allow its executive to step up pressure tactics as the union negotiates a new contract.

The union’s 200 general employees and 66 federal transport employees at Nunavik’s regional administration have been without a new contract since December 2015.

On Monday, April 9, the union voted in favour of a 72-hour “strike bank,” which means the union executive could issue a strike notice in the coming weeks.

The strike bank means employees could decide to strike over three consecutive days, or an hour at a time up to a limit of 72 hours.

The KRGEU, which falls under Quebec’s Confédération des syndicats nationaux, said it’s “fed up” after 27 months of negotiations that have not produced a new contract.

“After 35 bargaining sessions, the employer is still putting unacceptable offers on the table,” said the KRGEU president, Victor Mesher, in a statement. “The proposed salary increases do not even cover the increase in the cost of living, which is particularly high in Nunavik.”

The union executive said the employer’s offer does not meet the eight- and six-per cent rent increases its employees would have seen each year since 2015.

“That is why we need this mandate to put pressure on the employer and tell him we are ready to fight for better working conditions.”

The union said talks with the employee broke down in 2017, prompting the union to request the help of a conciliator.

Since January 2018, the union has met with KRG management and a conciliator for monthly negotiation sessions, the next of which is planned for April 16.