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Talks break off between Union of Northern Workers and GNWT

by NationTalk on March 12, 2012273 Views

March 12, 2012

The Government of the Northwest Territories has rejected attempts by the UNW to reach compromises at the bargaining table that would result in a settlement.

Talks have broken off and the union will be filing a request for the appointment of a mediator.

“It was obvious from the outset that the government was not interesting in trying to find solutions to the many workplace problems that face our members,” said UNW president Todd Parsons.The GNWT is demanding a four-year collective agreement with wage increases of 0.75%, 1.25%, 1.75% and 2.25%.

Although the government’s wage proposals fall well behind the rate of inflation, pegged at 4% for the last 12 months, the union was trying to find ways to work within the four-year framework.

One of the key union proposals is a guarantee of an eight-hour rest period between shifts. Hospital workers and social workers in particular are frequently called back to work after their shifts because of short-staffing and emergencies. A rest period of at least eight hours before having to resume their next scheduled shift is a health and safety issue for both the workers and the public they serve.

The government also rejected the union’s proposals to protect whistleblowers from reprisals, and treat all shift workers fairly when they are required to work designated paid holidays.

Date Modified : 2012/03/12

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