NEU holds ratification votes in all 25 Nunavut communities
Nunavut Employees union reached tentative deal with GN in February
Nunavut Employees Union members are voting on a new collective agreement in person as the union’s president visits each of the territory’s communities as part of a ratification vote tour that began in late April.
NEU president Jason Rochon is making stops in all 25 Nunavut communities to hold information and question-and-answer sessions followed by voting on the tentative agreement the union reached with the Government of Nunavut, union spokesman James Kaylor said in an interview.
The union, which represents more than 4,000 of the territory’s public servants, reached a tentative agreement with the GN in February, more than three years after the last contract expired in 2018.
Both the government and union have said they cannot discuss specifics of the proposed agreement until a deal is made official.
The new agreement, if ratified, will affect most GN employees, including nurses.
Teachers are covered by a different collective agreement, which was updated in January and includes a seven per cent pay raise over four years.
If ratified, NEU’s deal with the GN would see union members get a compounded pay increase of 9.31 per cent retroactive to 2018 and ending in 2023.
That means employees who worked during the term of the agreement, which goes back to 2018, would receive a retroactive payment, according to the union.
All employees, including indeterminate, casual and contract workers, would also receive a lump sum payment of $3,500 within 30 days of ratification of the agreement.
The new agreement would increase annual maximum dental coverage from $1,200 to $2,000.
It would also add 10 days for family abuse leave, five paid and five unpaid.
Rochon was not available for an interview, but the NEU said in a statement the union will give every member a chance to vote on the deal in person.
“We’re trying to get out to the communities and quickly and efficiently as possible,” Kaylor said.
If the agreement is ratified, it will remain in place until September 2024.
The union said it is reaching out to members before it stops in each community and notices of community visits are posted on its website.
Its next stop is in Arctic Bay on May 24 and May 25.