NEU holds ratification votes in all 25 Nunavut communities

Nunavut Employees union reached tentative deal with GN in February

Nunavut Employees Union president Jason Rochon, pictured here, is travelling to all of Nunavut’s 25 communities to hold information sessions and voting on the union’s new tentative agreement with the Government of Nunavut. (File photo by Mélanie Ritchot)

By Nunatsiaq News

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.


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(20) Comments:

  1. Posted by John WP Murphy on

    I wonder if the NEU employees know the amount paid to their executive members for the dues they pay to them?

  2. Posted by Japanese Postcard on

    “…the union will give every member a chance to vote on the deal in person.”

    This is a lie. NEU requires that you vote in person, and to vote in person you must show proof of a covid-19 vaccination. No POV, no vote.

    Regardless, the new deal is a raw deal. Way to allow the GN to defer its payables for years while employees miss the time-value of their money.

    • Posted by Strange? on

      I’m not sure what community you are in, but in Rankin there was no requirement to prove vaccination status.

      • Posted by Ak on

        Yes you 100% had to show proof of vaccination.

        • Posted by Jigsaw Puzzles on

          It would be helpful if the people saying this would include the community where they were required to show proof of vaccination.

          • Posted by iq on

            i didnt need to show no vaccine card when i voted in iqaluit.

  3. Posted by Iqaluit Mom on

    Does this retro pay include employees who left work from 2018? Asking for a few friends.

    • Posted by Iqaluit dad on

      This would be a good question to ask during the information session.

      • Posted by Maq-Pat on

        Yes, anyone who left after Oct 2019 will get some retro, though most increases are in the later years. They will not get the one-time $3500 unless they are employed when the agreement is ratified. This is shown on page 8 of the attachments to the ratification kit,

  4. Posted by Let’s be honest on

    Let’s be honest, we would probably have more backpay and more pay increases if all these weird new paid leaves weren’t included in the new deal.

    Paid discretionary leave, paid abuse leave and paid hunting leave are not geared towards the hard working GN workers who are the backbone of the government. For a government that already offers way more leave than anyone actually needs, this new contract doesn’t do anything but reward lazy staff with more time off

    • Posted by Maq-Pat on

      I’m going to generously assume your post isn’t as racist as I’m reading it… setting that aside. MOST GN employees would take extra leave over extra pay, just look at how many proactively choose to sign up for optional leave (trading pay for more leave).

  5. Posted by Can GN Employee Do Math on

    I was happy to hear the news that there had been some progress on this agreement moving forward: wages have been stagnant since 2018 while nurses in NWT are making more with annual increases. Now that I read the offer, the NEU really needs to call for a strike. We are being offered less than inflation, so a pay cut, let alone lost opportunity of over 4 years with this money. I will start discussions with nurses to start a nurses union since I don’t know what NEU does for me. They couldn’t get us a break during the pandemic without isolating while executives at the GN bypassed those hubs daily for their own vacations. Now they can’t even get me inflation wages? I can jump to 10 jobs that will pay more.

  6. Posted by 867 on

    And there you have it ladies and gents, the article you’ve all been waiting for.

  7. Posted by Don on

    In this day and age with the technology we have the union members should have all had the chance to vote already, it has already been 3 months since the Tentative deal was reached. Wonder if the Arctic Tour is even half way done. Will be interesting to see if our Union tells the members the cost of this Arctic Tour.

    • Posted by Noted on

      Absolutely true, it would be interesting to see a cost comparison of this tour with the implementation of a secure online voting scheme.

      • Posted by Plastic Tree on

        Remember this isn’t just a tour to gather votes, it is an opportunity for the new union leadership to network, to advertise its effectiveness (look, we got a deal!) and connect with constituents, etc. In other words, it’s political tour.

        Now, whether that is worth the cost of your unions dues is another matter.

      • Posted by Politics and Networking on

        it is not hard to see the utility, politically, for the new leadership in a tour like this. It is not just about getting out the vote, it is about promoting the new regime, advertising its success in getting a deal and networking across the territory. These are completely sensible things to do. Granted, they are certainly not the most cost effective.

    • Posted by Northern Inuit on

      But then the NEU BrASS would miss out on all those amazing Aurora Concierge Points and don’t forget couple month per diem cheques tax free!

  8. Posted by Strike Now on


    Read the GN financial statements. They have been using a 3% inflation figure for many years, when calculating pensions for MLAs. Do MLAs buy groceries in a more exensive store than the rest of us?

    • Posted by Maq-Pat on

      The GN does not set MLA salaries. Put simply: MLAs are the boss of the GN, not the other way around.


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