After working under an expired collective agreement for more than three years, Government of Nunavut (GN) employees have ratified the tentative agreement reached in March, impacting more than 4,000 Nunavut Employees Union (NEU) and Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) members.
The NEU and PSAC recognize that it took a long time to reach this point and would have preferred that the GN had come to the table sooner to negotiate seriously. Nevertheless, the NEU and PSAC travelled to almost every community across Nunavut to reach out to members and provide them with the opportunity to vote on the tentative agreement.
“Challenges posed by travel and connectivity didn’t prevent us from conducting votes and hearing from as many members as possible,” said Lorraine Rousseau, PSAC North regional executive vice-president. “I want to thank all members for their patience. It took a long time, but you’ve always been here for Nunavut with your tireless work and dedication.”
Earlier this year, the Here for Nunavut campaign launched by PSAC and NEU called on the government to step up for workers by providing stable jobs, fair wages, and northern allowances that keep up with rising costs. Residents of Nunavut sent hundreds of letters to MLAs in support of GN workers with a call for the GN to return to the bargaining table in good faith.
“Thank you, NEU members, for your questions and comments and sharing your concerns and experiences during the ratification of your new collective agreement,” said Jason Rochon, NEU president. “We listened and we are going to use what we heard to keep pushing for a better tomorrow for all of Nunavut.”
The NEU and PSAC look forward to working with the GN for a swift implementation of this new agreement.