Talks on new deal for UNW head to mediation
Yellowknife, N.W.T. - Talks on a new deal between the GNWT and the Union of Northern Workers have broken off.
They ended negotiations last Thursday, still far apart on a deal.
The main sticking points, according to the UNW, include a refusal to give workers an eight-hour rest break between shifts, whistleblower protection and preference for relief workers in the NWT.
Money is also a sticking point as the GNWT's offer hasn't been what the UNW wants, but the deputy minister of human resources, Sheila Bassi-Kellett, said they are still offering a raise, period.
“Right now with all the economic volatility that is going on around the world there is not a lot of employers certainly in the public sector in Canada that are looking at offering increases at this time. We are pleased to say that we were offering increases. We still continue to offer increases," said Bassi-Kellett.
The UNW's second vice-president, Frank Walsh, said there is time to bridge the gap, but there's a long way to go.
"A significant amount of issues remain on the table, certainly significant from our prospective for our members. We are certainly are a long way apart," said Walsh.
The union has served notice it will be going to mediation with the GNWT in order to try and work toward a deal.
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