Nunavut government and employees union reach tentative agreement

Current agreement expired more than 3 years ago

The current collective bargaining agreement between the Government of Nunavut and the Nunavut Employee Union expired in 2018. (Photo by Mélanie Ritchot)

By Nunatsiaq News

After years of working under an expired collective agreement, Nunavut government employees could soon have a new contract.

The Government of Nunavut and the Nunavut Employees Union reached a new tentative agreement Saturday, according to a news release from the territorial government, after a week of “collaborative negotiations.”

The collective agreement covers things such as pay rates and benefits for the territory’s more than 4,000 public servants.

Both parties have said they cannot discuss specifics of offers were made or what is being negotiated until a deal is made official.

But if formally approved by both parties, the new contract will replace the former agreement, which expired on Sept. 30, 2018.

The news release did not lay out a timeline for when that could happen, but the tentative agreement marks a possible end to a sometimes-heated back-and-forth between the government and the union.

In October, the union accused the government of bad-faith bargaining after it obtained court documents that showed the GN knew about a miscalculation it had made in part of its offer to the union.

The territorial government, in turn, said the union had rejected an offer without meeting with the government’s bargaining team.

For months, the territorial government and union have both been saying they were waiting for the other to come back to the bargaining table.

On Feb. 16, union president Jason Rochon, NEU’s president confirmed bargaining was set to restart on Feb. 21.

At that time, Rochon said some of the main outstanding issues included increases in salary and the Nunavut Northern Allowance, and negotiating a new provision for paid domestic violence leave for employees.

The new agreement, if reached, 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.

Reaching these new collective agreements was a key issue discussed during the territorial election in October, which ultimately brought in a new premier and multiple new cabinet ministers.

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(26) Comments:

  1. Posted by GN Employee on

    I’m also curious about the potential amount of back pay for those missing three years…

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    • Posted by 5 years on

      Its actually 5 years if we include 2022. 2017 was the last year the GN had a pay increase.

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      • Posted by Maybe you should stay at your pay level on

        It is not 5 years, it is still less than 4 years. Yes, the last pay increase was in 2017. So let’s lay it out for you:
        .
        2017-18 was a “regular” year as GN workers had just received an increment in 2017.
        2018-19 = 1st year with no increase
        2019-20 = 2nd year with no increase
        2020-21 = 3rd year with no increase
        2021-22 (current year) = 4th year with no increase
        .
        Since the agreement expired at the end of September 2018, this is currently year 4 until October 2022.

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    • Posted by Northern Inuit on

      So is the tax man.

      But great news, thank you

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  2. Posted by Let’s see if it’s fair on

    It might be time for the NEU to start endorsing MLAs. They all remain silent. If this isn’t a fair deal. Well already know what inflation was from 2018 to today, it should be easy to agree on the past. NEU needs to hold the MLAs responsible for their treatment of GN employees.

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    • Posted by Justin Reynolds on

      It would be nice but the probably have to follow the rules

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  3. Posted by money money on

    I’m curious about the cost-of-living clause.
    Not one based upon the cost-of-living in Ottawa.
    One based upon the cost of living in each community in Nunavut.
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    And get ready for masive price increases.
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    Why? Because stores increase prices so as to extract virtually all avaiable cash from the community.

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    • Posted by Blah blah on

      GN employees are the top paid workers in the territory. If you’re not making ends meet while working for the GN you should really take a second look at your budget.

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      • Posted by Meh Meh on

        Federal employees enjoy consistent raises year-over-year. They enjoy superior staff housing on average. They enjoy other benefits, particularly for ones with families to travel. They are not trapped in a timefreeze. The GN is paying a northern allowance from 2010. Not 3 years old, but 12 years old. Kesha’s Tik Tok was #1 that year. Houses in Toronto were average under $450k.

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        • Posted by 867 on

          The Nunavut dilemma:

          Ask a Federal worker how much he or she makes in Iqaluit. Even though they’ve seen annual increases, a University-educated professional with the Feds is likely making the same amount as a GN worker in an Administrative role that barely has a high-school diploma.

          GN workers are overpaid and given way too much leave? Yes. However, if they weren’t, the GN would not be able to retain their required skilled-workers at all, who would all just take jobs down south, leaving the GN with unfillable vacancies across the board, which would ultimately lead to failure.

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      • Posted by Consistency on

        The only GN employees that would be living paycheck to paycheck are the ones that are stuck in over crowded homes supporting multiple families. and it is great they are helping there families… but also Make your grown up children (that have children of there own that are also just about grown up) to get jobs. if your going to be stuck in over crowded homes (there are not many options and this is a big problem) them you might as well have a few GN workers in on house so you are not living paycheck to paycheck. also then maybe money from some one can be worked at saving to buy a larger house or build something.

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        • Posted by decisions on

          Don’t forget to add to your long list (making very poor financial decisions)

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          • Posted by Anaanamous on

            I am a GN employee. I live pay check to pay check because I don’t have a warm subsidized place. I have bills to pay and expenses to pay. If you want to point down at us for living pay check to pay check let’s see you live with other ppl and then having to make ends meet. I pay every bill every month and yet I’m still living like I’m poor.

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        • Posted by 867 on

          One person’s salary should not support multiple families. Those families should go and get jobs like the rest of us. Your job is meant to support yourself. Anybody else that expects someone else’s job to help pay their bills needs to go and get their own job.

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      • Posted by Snowl on

        I made $1800 a paycheck after taxes before I left the GN a few months ago. Many people make a lot of money in the GN, unfortunately, that is also the type of person that usually gets staff housing.

        It is not uncommon to have to live paycheck to paycheck as a GN worker.

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        • Posted by S on

          The housing issue:

          In order to obtain public housing in Nunavut, one must be a resident of Nunavut for at least one year, and must have adequate “desperation” points to reach the top of the public housing “needs” list. That excludes most new or existing professionals from the South and most who are native Nunavummiut

          Currently, staff housing is available for positions that cannot be filled unless the individual has professional accreditation of some sort – doctor, accountant, geologist, teacher, nurse, lawyer or other accredited speciality. There are some exceptions for those who have MBAs or other higher education that qualifies them for senior management or advisory positions. Very few people who fill those positions are graduating from Nunavut-based higher-education institutions, but if they do graduate locally, they get staff housing

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        • Posted by The Grinsh on

          It’s not uncommon to live pay check to pay check in the south either. It’s actually a majority of people that life like that, not just in the north.

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  4. Posted by GN employee – inuit on

    Even GN employees are now living pay check to pay check as cost of living has doubled in Nunavut. for example cost of coffee mate used to cost $4.99 now cost $9.49 450g- also nurses are over worked for 2 years now and made some great sacrifices for themselves and children.

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  5. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    Don’t forget the GN Employees who purchased their own home. I forget how great it was only paying rent and power.

    Owning your own home costs $2500 a month in the summer then $3000 a month in the winter with fuel and power. Would be nice to see benefits for home owners as the $400 a month benefit barely scratches the surface and doesn’t cover fuel.

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    • Posted by Putting this out there on

      If you own your own home and are paying $2500/month in summer and $3000/month in the winter on fuel and power… you have some major home efficiency issues. you should apply for the Home Owner Renovation Program (HOTRP) with Nunavut Housing. Also keep your doors and windows closed more, or you must live in a house a lot bigger then mine.
      I did HOTRP and my furnace is way more efficient now. less then a tank of fuel a month in the winter (before it was about a tank every 3 weeks in winter). and i use 1 tank from May-Oct.

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      • Posted by Northern Inuit on

        The $2500 a month was all inclusive, mortgage, fuel, power, water

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        • Posted by Putting this out there on

          Oh Mortgage is part of that. well you would be paying those costs in the south as well. quick google search brought this up “Homebuyers in Vancouver had to pay on average 2,018 Canadian dollars monthly, while in Toronto, the average monthly scheduled mortgage payment was 1,911 Canadian dollars”. those are just the mortgage rates not including fuel, electricity, municipal bills.
          If you are paying more then 30% of your income on rent or mortgage you need to find a different place to live or adjust your other spending. if you are paying under the 30% your in with the rest of us.

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    • Posted by Northern Qabloona on

      Let me play you a tune on my violin, as I am so sorry that your home purchase has in all likelihood resulted in a 200% valuation from what you paid 5 years ago.

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      • Posted by Centre of the World on

        Everybody in Iqaluit always assumes that everybody lives in Iqaluit.

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  6. Posted by Prices on

    The increase better be substantial.
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    The war in Ukraine will drive prices through the roof.
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    Ukraine was the “breadbasket of Europe”. There will be no crop this year. Millions of people around the world will go hungry and prices for food will skyrocket.
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    Then there’s the side-effects of the sanctions on Russia. They are already raising the price of oil. and everything moves on fuel.
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    If true cost-of-living increase (not inflation for some select items) in Canada for 2022 is less than 20%, I’ll be very surprised. And I expect the increase for 2023 to be even greater, as the world sorts out the mess.
    .
    All that assumes no nuclear strikes. If there is a nuclear war, all bets are off.

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  7. Posted by Curious George on

    Tentative agreement reached a month ago.
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    No word if the NEU membership voted to accept or reject the tentative agreement.
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    Has there been a vote? If not, when will it be held? If there has, when will the results be announced? If the tentative agreement was rejected, when will the strike vote be held?
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    Why no information?
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    Are the GN and the NEU stonewalling, or is NN not asking questions?

Comments are closed.