GN employees to get $3,500 on Wednesday from new contract signing

Nunavut Employees Union and GN sign labour deal in ceremony at legislature

Human Resources Minister Margaret Nakashuk (left) and Nunavut Employees Union president Jason Rochon sign the new collective agreement between the GN and the union at the Legislative Asembly in Iqaluit on Monday. The six-year agreement provides a total salary increase of nine per cent. (Photo by Madalyn Howitt)

By Madalyn Howitt

Government of Nunavut unionized employees can expect a lump sum payment of $3,500 in their accounts on Wednesday, says the president of the Nunavut Employees Union.

Union president Jason Rochon made the announcement Monday during the signing of the new collective agreement between the union and the GN at the legislative assembly in Iqaluit. It took more than four years to negotiate a new contract between the GN and its 4,000 unionized workers to replace the agreement that expired in 2018.

Over the new contract’s six-year term, workers will get annual salary increases ranging between zero and 3.5 per cent a year. By the end of the contract, wages will be 9.31 per cent higher than in 2018. The new contract will take effect Oct. 1, 2018, the day after the previous contract expired. It will see the territorial government and its unionized workers though until it expires in September 2024.

Employees who have worked for four years will be paid retroactively in four installments starting this fall, likely on the same day that wages increase, Rochon said. 

The $3,500 lump sum payment goes to all employees, including those who work on an indeterminate, term, or casual basis.

“We recognize that our members in the GN had to wait a long time, but we worked really hard especially in the last month to make sure that everything was translated, everything was double checked, and to try to implement the new collective agreement as quickly as possible,” he said. 

Ratification comes as Canada sees record inflation — it was pegged at 8.1 per cent in June compared to the same month last year, the highest increase since 1983, nearly 40 years ago.

“Nobody saw, on the employer side or the union side, inflation rising the way it did. So we did our best,” Rochon said. 

“We feel we got the best deal possible at this time. We’re ready to make sure that the formula is fixed when we get back to the table in less than about a year and half. We’re looking forward to that.”

Rochon said he did not know the percentage of unionized employees who voted on the agreement, but said it was the highest turnout the union has seen. 

He also did not say how many employees voted in favour of the agreement.

The new collective agreement, set to expire on Sept. 30, 2024, includes other benefits as well.

Employees will see five days of paid and five days of unpaid family abuse leave; two discretionary special leave days, up from one; two paid days per year for Inuit cultural pursuits; increased annual maximum for dental benefits from $1,200 to $2,000; and extended parental leave allowances, among other inclusions.

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(76) Comments:

  1. Posted by Confused on

    ““Nobody saw, on the employer side or the union side, inflation rising the way it did. So we did our best,” Rochon said. ”

    What do you mean? Well before things were signed inflation was high, its been high since the start of the year. There was ample chance to go back to the table and actually negotiate something that reflects reality. Not only that it was one of those rare moments in history where you actually see economists agree with each other and they were all forecasting higher inflation rates for the year. I would say the entire world saw it coming because its been on every news source for months.

    Canada’s CPI in Jan of 2018 was 131.7 and as of July its 152.9 or a 16% increase and this contract doesn’t end until 2024?

    It’s a shame we don’t have CPI data for communities across Nunavut where we disproportionately eat more inflation than other areas in Canada as a result on being completely dependent on airfreight for everything and fuel has risen significantly more than other items averaged into the CPI formula. Our saving grace is that we have been using “cheap fuel” locally for the past year but I suspect that’s about to change depending on when the GN made fuel purchases for this years resupply.

    Now i’m not a GN employee but If I was, and I had to pay dues for this level of negotiation skills id be quite upset.

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    • Posted by KN on

      I am a former GN employee with CGS. The GN subsidizes petroleum products so the consumer pays less (for all citizens of NU). And this includes Jet A fuel (Canadian North).

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      • Posted by Okay Fuel on

        You mean the GN subsidizes fuel with savings of 5-15% inflation on employee wages it has just saved along with some 20% on no northern allowance upgrade for Iqaluit.

  2. Posted by Does it on

    Does this include casual workers that did short stents since 2018? Clarification on who receives the 3500. Only current GN employees?

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    • Posted by Northern Inuit on

      If you were active employee on July 11th, 2022, full time, term or casual who started on July 8th you get $3500.

      If you were full time and retired July 8th, or on disability leave, too bad take off eh.

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      • Posted by What’s active on

        People got it on lwop but not on Ltd?

  3. Posted by Durr on

    A $3500 lump sum is a great incentive for those who suck at math

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    • Posted by gimme gimme gimme, rich! on

      RICH! it doesn’t last long with that attitude

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      • Posted by Dulcinea on

        I don’t see what Durr’s attitude has to do with how quickly Durr will spend the incremental funds?

        • Posted by Durr’s return on

          It wasn’t a great post for those who suck at basic reasoning.

  4. Posted by confused on

    A little helps a lot, hope it will get Me off the payday loans.

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  5. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    $3500 before taxes or after taxes.

    don’t forget how much good ole CRA will be taking from each employee.

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    • Posted by Southerner in the North on

      Before taxes. After taxes depends on your salary.

      If your salary is

      $47,900 to $50,200 it will be $2,750 after taxes.
      $50,200 to $95,700 it will be $2,540 after taxes
      $95,700 to $100,400 it will be $2,470 after taxes
      $100,400 to $155,600 it will be $2,275 after taxes.

      Please note that these are estimates only. The exact number will depend on your personal taxation circumstances.

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  6. Posted by Iqaluit ExPat on

    What’s the process for those who left the GN before this kicked in? I don’t imagine it will be easy, but in this economy, every little bit would help.

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    • Posted by Nope on

      Hate 2 say it, but the Union represents employees, not ex-employees.

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    • Posted by Pat on

      To my understanding, it states The new contract will begin from Oct 1 2018, and ending September 2024. So, I believe starting from Oct 1st, if you were employed, you would get the paid salaries? Someone can correct me.

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  7. Posted by Confused on

    What is the work four years detail? What is “fall”? Sometime between September 21 and December 21? What is being paid in installments? What are the installment amounts? Is there interest for waiting? The president doesn’t know how many people voted?

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  8. Posted by What does this actually mean on

    What does this actually mean – “Employees who have worked for four years will be paid retroactively in four installments starting this fall, likely on the same day that wages increase”, Rochon said

    • Posted by Southerner in the North on

      Since the 2022 pay rates will come into effect on October 1, 2022, it probably means that retro pay will be paid out in the four pay periods following October 1st. So, October 14th, October 28th, November 11th and November 25th.

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  9. Posted by Disappointed on

    Totally disappointed, the GN wins every time, telling staff they are worth 0 percent increase and they get away with it, giving this lump sum payment hoping that the standard GN employee doesn’t know how compound interest works and then back loading the agreement so it’s even less money based on inflation. Congrats to the GN, you screwed your staff again, but I will encourage all staff to work to rule, use up all that sick leave, stress leave, you name it, and people are leaving here like crazy, so congrats, enjoy the toxic cesspool you created on the backs off all those staff that kept the bleep show running during covid.

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    • Posted by Wow on

      This is exactly right. I was actually shocked when I saw the details of the agreement come out. I couldn’t believe the GN was offering a one-time lump-sum payment to get out of actually raising wages in a meaningful way.
      .
      These two quotes sum up the whole article:
      .
      “By the end of the contract, wages will be 9.31 per cent higher than in 2018”
      “inflation… was pegged at 8.1 per cent in June compared to the same month last year”
      .
      And Mr. Rochon, if you didn’t know what was going on with inflation, then you were willfully blind. Inflation has been running at a minimum 3.1%/annum clip since March 2021, has not been lower than 4.1% since July 2021, and has not been lower than 5.1% since December 2021.
      .
      CPI has increased 11.6% since October 2018, but according to this deal wages will have only increased 5.6% after the next increase in October.

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  10. Posted by Helen on

    How about if I left a job in December 2021, that worked for 11 years, and only to become casual, will I qualify

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  11. Posted by Call the union on

    For anyone asking about the agreement, it’s best to call the union and ask instead of waiting for an answer on the comments section of Nunatsiaq. You will get a better and quicker answers

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    • Posted by Or well on

      The Union could also issue a communication statement with the complete terms and conditions.

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      • Posted by Lazy on

        Other words for I’m too lazy to do my own research.

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        • Posted by So lazy on

          Yes I am very lazy for wanting to read several hundred pages of the new collective agreement or expect my union to provide membership basic who what when where and why details about a deal they are going around bragging about. If you call the union you’ll get five different answers from five different transient staff.

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          • Posted by Lazy on

            Typical, expecting information to be handed to you. If you had 5 different answers from 5 different people, you wouldn’t do your own research to get the right information?

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            • Posted by Sarcasm on

              The poster suggested they wanted to read hundreds of pages to get the details as sarcasm to your allegation they are lazy, and it seems to have gone over your head.

  12. Posted by eskimo joe on

    I just saw whole lot of mistakes in typing of this article.

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    • Posted by kanuwhipit on

      I noticed a couple, not a lot. The picture, asembly and not assembly. It toom, instead of it took.

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  13. Posted by Former Insider on

    PJ, time to put on your big-boy pants and take charge of the situation.
    .
    Your negotiatiors got a great deal for the GN. Not really.
    .
    You have two groups of employees, those who can work elsewhere and those who can only work in Nunavut.
    .
    If youdon’t offer a much better contract right away, you can expect those in the first group to leave.
    .
    Bye bye southern teachers and southern healthcare professionals. Bye bye most middle managers and executive staff. Bye bye most professional and paraprofessional staff.
    .
    GN services will be provided by southern consultants for $1500 to $2000 per day and by admin employees.
    .
    Think strategically. Don’t let the bean counters run your government into the ground.

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    • Posted by Understaffed on

      Exactly, a lot of departments are already understaffed. It seems like every week there’s an announcement that a health center has to shut down because they have no staff. This agreement will only make things worse. How long will people have to suffer before the GN does something?

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    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      Ummmmm most health care professionals are now on contract and the teachers have their own agreement so who exactly is going to walk away?

  14. Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

    Don’t start blaming the bean counters.

    They take the boss’s potential decisions and calculate how much they will cost, now and in the future.
    The boss then adjusts or decides to take the risk.

    It’s easy for the union negotiators to ask for a $5.00/hour increase. But, the bean counter lets the boss know that the REAL cost is $6.00/hour.
    Can the GN (and the taxpayer) afford that much without cutting services or increasing taxes?

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  15. Posted by Inflation on

    This “agreement” is nothing but a pay cut.
    .
    After inflation and taxes GN employees will be earning less than we were 4 years ago. To add insult to injury, retroactive pay for previous years will be paid — some time in the future.
    .
    Mean while, MLA pensions have been increasing by 3% every year, even though employees have gotten nothing.
    .
    Inflation for this year is heading towards 20%, so watch for a substantial increase in MLA slalries and pensions soon.
    .
    Last one out, turn off the lights.

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  16. Posted by GNer on

    For doing such a great job? With the enormous budget for under 40,000 people not doing a whole lot, infrastructure (deep seal port delays, finally completed but can’t operate it) nurses, teachers, housing, the list goes on.

    With the GNs track record they should be getting a pay cut. Subsidized housing that drives up home ownership and rental prices for non GN, money flowing south with a revolving door of transient workers.
    Bonuses, all the flights all across southern Canada for meetings that really don’t accomplish anything. I just don’t see why the GN should be handing out more money for doing such a terrible job. The amount of money spent compared to any other organization in Nunavut is a 100 times more, that money could be used better for housing, education and so on.

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    • Posted by No Improvements on

      All GNer’s concerns are valid. But the only people who are able to change anything substantial are the members of Cabinet.
      .
      Even the Deputy Ministers are only able to change things that afffect no other department and affect no members of the public. So, effectively, the DMs can change the brand of toilet paper, but only if the washroom is off limits to the public. Any change that is more substantial requires approval by Cabinet.
      .
      Any proposed change has to compete with everything else for the limited attention of all members of Cabinet. That is why GN employees cannot improve anything.

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      • Posted by GNer on

        Sounds like GN employees can’t do much, but yeah we can all see that already.

  17. Posted by Howard Wolowitz on

    How ’bout the “fishing days” off for employees of GN, like suggested a little bit back.🤪

    • Posted by Unmuted on

      Filed under Nunatsiaq Non-Sense. The lines between journalism and activism are sometimes blurred in this publication. I imagine it is the need to fit into that airy cloud of ‘right think’ that drives these bizarre takes.

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  18. Posted by Shortage on

    What I liked about the new CA is the lump sum, retroactive, wage increases, increase in NNA. i worked lots of OT in 2020 and the retro will be great before Christmas. Going out hunting for 4 days paid because you are allowed to use 2 paid discretionary days is good. I’m happy with this deal. I just think it took too long for them to negotiate.

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    • Posted by Lack of Understanding on

      Your, sir, are the reason that this bad deal was ratified.

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  19. Posted by Bubba on

    Bubba want a sausage plz let all dogs go

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  20. Posted by Pat on

    So, if I worked from starting Oct 1, 2018 (and worked for a full year) would I be eligie or would I have to be currently working with GN?

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    • Posted by Go Look on

      Check your bank account this morning and you should have your answer

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  21. Posted by Taxes on

    To all the voters who said yes to the new agreement, did you check your bank account today? Lovely isn’t it? You thought you’ll receive $3,500.00, but the CRA took a good chunk out of it. Next time, do the math and don’t get lured into an agreement that is not even worth the paper it’s written on

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    • Posted by Resident of Rankin on

      Dude, where is my $1500 ?

    • Posted by KitikmeotGuy on

      2k for a Wednesday isn’t too shabby. Have a great rest of the summer you whiners!

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      • Posted by Shabby Wednesday on

        How about $2k for a Wednesday after 4 years of no increase, only later to be given 0%, 1%, 1.5%, and 1.5% increases while inflation soars? Is that shabby?

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        • Posted by KitikmeotGuy on

          2k for a Wednesday, when I no longer work for the GN isn’t too shabby at all. Moved on. Have a great summer.

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    • Posted by frank on

      you surely got that right! i am pretty sure the guys on the other side, GN, are laughing their, you know what, because from that 3,500 we only got less than 2 grand. how sick and stupid, all the GN employees were looking forward to it and much to our disappointment, petty much dust money!

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    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      Only a nincompoop would assume that the payout was going to be tax free!

  22. Posted by Japanese Postcard on

    43% tax deducted from the lump sum payment, 46% when GST is collected at the point of sale on goods and services. Brutal.

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    • Posted by Payroll tax on

      Is the payroll tax also applied on this? It has to be lol.

  23. Posted by please don’t complain on

    NEU members, please don’t complain about the lump sum payment. You guys voted for this

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    • Posted by MARS on

      The only ones who are complaining are members who voted ‘no’ for good reason. The lump sum was a red herring to distract from the fact that it wasn’t a good deal.

      The employer took their shot with the $3500 lump sum and won. Employees lost again.

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      • Posted by everyone on

        Everyone is complaining that taxes were taken from the lump sum pay. And they are the one’s that voted yes.

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  24. Posted by Nunavut Northern Allowance payment ? on

    Employees in Baker Lake, Rankin Inlet, Whale Cove, Gjoa Haven, Kugluktuk, and Taloyoak are also to receive a payment of $1500 for the Nunavut Northern Allowance payment today. I haven’t seen it yet.

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    • Posted by Observation Post on

      It was there, but went up in tax

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    • Posted by Wrong sir on

      You got the $1500 and the $3500. $5000 minus taxes is about $3000. Do the math.

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  25. Posted by Free Money on

    GN Finance Department messed up the calculation of deductions, again. They did not use the one-time tax table that they should have used. Instead, they taxed the $3,500 as if it were the regular, bi-weekly pay. They made the same “mistake” last time, too.
    .
    We will get the over-tax back next spring as an income tax refund. But Ottawa will have a nine-month loan of our money for free.

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    • Posted by TAXED on

      Not just taxed but as it is the same pay cycle as the pay on the 5th they considered it as a continuation of that pay so if you made $3,500 on your regular pay you had $705 deducted as federal tax, because of the continuation there was an additional $1,300 Fedral tax deducted.

  26. Posted by Disappointed employee on

    Got my bonus this morning – $2078 after taxes. Thanks for nothing NEU. Stop saying it’s a $3500 bonus when GN clawed nearly half of it back before I saw it.

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    • Posted by taxes on

      Why do people think that pays/bonuses are not taxable? especially at this day and age where everything is taxed. funny how everyone that voted yes was expecting 3500 but never even thought about the tax implications. the deal doesn’t look so good now

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      • Posted by Because on

        NEU suggested to members that the $3500 was payment from the GN in exchange for NEU ending its bargaining in bad faith law suit. Damages in settlement unrelated to wages would not be taxable. NEU didn’t do its due diligence to structure this or mislead membership knowing it would happen. GN knew every dollar promised would be returned by individuals immediately in tax at 25% or more.

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    • Posted by frank on

      to make it worst, it was publically announced through every possible media, news etc. sounded like we were finally going to get the whole 3,500 as stated, turned out its we collected coins, cant even buy a broken down atv or snowmobile. thats how worthless us GN employees are to the govt. how cheap!

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  27. Posted by Barbara Tigvareark on

    I was a NEU for 3,4 years and all of a suddenly went to sub worker.

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  28. Posted by Casual employee on

    I am a casual employee and I haven’t seen a “lump sum payment” in my account. I wonder how these people are whining about what they got from this.

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    • Posted by frank on

      here’s the answer to your “wonder” we value ourselves higher than how the govt values us, we look at how much work we can do, our skills and abilities vs how much we are paid, maybe, just maybe, you dont have as much value to yourself or your skills and abilities are not as much? i dont know, but tried to answer your question.

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  29. Posted by Anonymous on

    Too bad summer students does not qualify

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  30. Posted by frank on

    thats just so sick and brutal! do your match, 2 grand retro, divide that into 4 years, then divide that again into 26 pays, then divide that into 75 hrs, you are getting a whole extra quarter of a dollar retro! thats not even a scratch for the govt especially when they got almost half of it through tax deduction! and we were really expecting for that day!

    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      Relax! You haven’t gotten you retro yet, that comes in the fall. The $2K was the signing bonus now go back into the corner and enjoy the windfall!

  31. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    the other surprise will come with the Retro Pay.

    if you think you are getting a new ATV or Snowmobile with the Retro, think again.

    unless you worked 4000 hours of overtime, sweet.

    but normal hours,
    2018 = 1%
    2019 = 1.5%
    2020 = 1.5%

    say you received 80,000 in pay those years.
    2018 = $800
    2019 = $1200
    2020 = $1200
    total: $3200

    minus your taxes. even less then the lump sum. maybe $2000

    • Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

      Better to talk to an accountant, your numbers as RETRO pay are out to lunch.
      Retro pay numbers you use are for that year only. There are follow-up years for each. THEN check the total.

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      • Posted by Lol Paul on

        Paul are you an accountant? So now I have to refile my previous years taxes?

    • Posted by frank on

      you got that wrong there buddy, 2018 is zero percent, then 2019 is 1%, so we’re not getting anything for the year 2018.

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