Union Members at Coral Harbour Housing Authority Will Start Negotiations for a New Collective Agreement This Week

For Immediate Release

Coral Harbour, November 1, 2022: The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC)/Nunavut Employees Union (NEU) Bargaining Team and Coral Harbour Housing Authority begin negotiations for a new Collective Agreement this week. Bargaining with the Employer is scheduled for November 1 to 4, 2022. The previous Collective Agreement expired on March 31, 2021. 

PSAC/NEU Members working for Coral Harbour Housing Authority seek improvements to working conditions and demand salary increases that match the current levels of inflation. Statistics Canada’s latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures (September 2022) place a 5% increase in prices for Iqaluit. The inflation is expected to be significantly higher in other, more remote communities in Nunavut – including Coral Harbour.

Despite the high rate of inflation and the increasing cost of living, Members, currently receive wage increases of only 1.25% each year. These numbers represent an actual and significant pay cut and are completely unacceptable in the current inflationary context.

“Workers at Housing Associations in Nunavut are overworked and underpaid,” says NEU President Jason Rochon. “Vacancies need to be filled. It’s time employers compensate workers with fair wages so families can keep up with the increasing cost of living.” 

The Employer Representative, who has also been negotiating on behalf of other Housing Associations in Nunavut, has tabled economic increases around 1.25% and 1.5% for several other Housing Associations in Nunavut.

“On behalf of our Union, I want to extend my solidarity with the Bargaining Team and all Members,” says PSAC North Regional Executive Vice President Lorraine Rousseau. “Nunavut’s communities have the highest cost of living and basic necessities are not affordable. We will not accept any concessions that affect the livelihoods of our Members and their families.”  

Last August, negotiations between Iqaluit Housing Association (IHA) and PSAC/NEU broke off when the employer failed to address the key demands presented by employees, including salary adjustment that address the increasing cost of living.  In addition, the IHA is facing significant recruitment and retention issues that the Employer is unwilling to properly address.  The PSAC/NEU Bargaining Team will be meeting the IHA, with the assistance of a Federal Conciliator on November 16 and 17, 2022 to try to help the parties to reach an agreement. Two other Housing Associations in Nunavut, Arviat and Clyde River are also at impasse.

With the high rates of inflation, increasing cost of living and food insecurity, PSAC/NEU expects the Nunavut Housing Corporation (NHC) to revise its mandate and partner with the Union to protect the livelihoods of employees in the communities. The demands are simple and clear: better working conditions and fair wages that address the high rate of inflation.  Earlier this year, PSAC North and NEU launched the Illunnata campaign to address the food insecurity crisis that’s impacting the North. For more information on the campaign, please visit www.illunnata.ca.

For media inquiries, contact:

Yusur Al-Bahrani: Regional Political Communications Officer, PSAC North (P): 867.669.0991 or Al-BahY@psac-afpc.com

James Kaylor: Communications Officer, Nunavut Employees Union, (P): 867.979.4209 or james@neu.ca