GN employees to get $3,500 on Wednesday from new contract signing
Nunavut Employees Union and GN sign labour deal in ceremony at legislature
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.