Whitehorse Daily Star

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YEU president Steve Geick

YEU/PSAC agree to tentative deal

The bargaining team representing more than 4,000 Yukon government workers reached a tentative agreement with the territory’s largest employer late Friday afternoon.

By Whitehorse Star on June 10, 2019

The bargaining team representing more than 4,000 Yukon government workers reached a tentative agreement with the territory’s largest employer late Friday afternoon.

The agreement followed a six-month bargaining process which seemed poised to derail over the issue of severance pay, the Yukon Employees’ Union (YEU) said late this morning.

“The members really stepped up, showing the team lots of support and giving valuable feedback when it was needed,” said YEU president Steve Geick.

“Their input provided crystal-clear direction at the bargaining table, which helped us reach a deal.”

Jack Bourassa, the regional executive vice-president North of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said he is “happy to hear both parties were able to find common ground. The new agreement will not only benefit our members, but all Yukoners.”

The membership will vote in a series of ratification meetings throughout the territory in July.

No details will be provided to the media until the workers have reviewed the proposed changes to their contract.

Comments (11)

Up 3 Down 0

News Flash on Jun 15, 2019 at 6:16 pm

The YG government could be cutting in many, many areas; you have/had managers on projects that were being paid very, very high salaries and they had no one reporting to them. If our Premiere thinks that he and Minister Frost are ever going to get re-elected after the group home fiasco, the PIDWA interference and the repeated lies that have been told - delusional !!
Our Premiere should take a good look at Premiere Ford in Ontario. He has No problem freezing wages, cutting the fat, he cares not about getting re-elected he cares about doing what is right! Enough with the fat cat liberal spending and their complete inability to take a stand on the side of anything that is ethical - SNC Lavalan comes to mind, group homes, Wann Road project - still not operational. Do something that might redeem yourselves, anything, and for once take advice like freeze wages that makes sense.

Up 7 Down 1

Groucho d'North on Jun 14, 2019 at 2:20 pm

This could also be viewed like it was many years ago, a wage increase for our Yukon economy. Again that was then and this is now. Until more people start buying local rather than on-line, much of all this government wage discussion has little benefit for non-government working stiffs. Our economy should strive to keep these dollars in our local trade and commerce where they could turn a few more times before they get exported to another provincial or international economy.

Up 2 Down 6

Yoda on Jun 14, 2019 at 1:04 am

@David Dixon

A couple things.
‘YTG’ hasn’t been a thing for longer than a decade. It’s the Yukon Government or YG
Article 33 of the YEU/PSAC collective agreement states the Yukon bonus is pegged at $2,242

When I was private sector I had a company truck as my primary vehicle. When I wasn’t working I used to to camp, go fishing or jet the kids around. Gas and maintenance were covered. A perk you’ll never see in the public sector.

Curious as to what areas of government you would slash. Like what specific programs? How much savings would there be and where would you redirect that money. Also, would firing a bunch of civil servants have a negative ripple effect through the economy?

Up 7 Down 7

Bandit on Jun 13, 2019 at 1:53 pm

@David Dixon
You seem to rant on like a disgruntled FORMER employee of YTG. With all of your triple exclamation marks, triple question marks, bold all in upper case phrases, I pity your keyboard as I can envision you POUNDING!!! the heck out of it. Give it a rest!!!

Up 9 Down 7

David Dixon on Jun 13, 2019 at 1:18 pm

Attention: Yoda I worked for YTG in Continuing Care branch from 2001-2009. My Yukon bonus in 2009 was $1400.00. That is a fact. Why can't one compare YEU wages job for job with other provincial counterparts? Yes it is more expensive to live here but the wage differential is still 15-20% higher than the Canadian average for the same job.
You missed the whole point of my commentary. YTG presently under the Liberals are doing the same as the previous Yukon Party. SPENDING WAY TOO MUCH ON ALL YEU WAGES. This is unsustainable. This territory is headed for huge budgetary deficits soon!!! We need a government that truly needs to spend significantly less. Who cares if you have a company vehicle with a gas card? Whether you are in YTG or you work for a private company if you need a vehicle to fulfill your job description then you get a vehicle provided along with a gas card or mileage allowance.
Presently the Continuing Care branch within the Department of Health and Social Services spends 5.6% of their total wage budget on overtime annually. If this in comparison was a private nursing home and they spent 5.6% of their employee wage budget annually THEY WOULD GO BANKRUPT. THAT IS A FACT!!! The Federal government annual transfer payments to this territory are huge. The total amount of territorial taxes received from all Yukon citizens and businesses is small compared to the total federal money transfer from the federal government. Canada has been bailing out Yukon for years. The present Liberal party and the previous Yukon party have both grown the pool of government workers much too high.
All YEU wages must be frozen immediately. Do more with less. Terminate many high salaried managers. Be efficient and lay off uneeded YEU employees. Everyone knows government needs to spend less but to date no ruling territorial party has had the courage to cut back. Eventually this territory, if to continue on its present overspending trajectory, will run annual deficits proportionate to the province of Ontario.

Up 11 Down 7

Yoda on Jun 12, 2019 at 3:46 pm

@ David Dixon
You can't compare YEU (or any Yukon wage) to southern counterparts. It's like comparing apples and anvils. ZERO correlation.

Also, the Yukon bonus you referenced is about $1k off and depending on where you work in the private sector you might get a similar bonus (I did when I was private sector) also, there are many perks working in the private sector and small businesses you wouldn't see in a unionized YEU environment. Like a company truck, fleet fuel card, cheap cash/barter deals with other trades in the business.

Without a doubt trades people inside YEU are making much less than their private sector counterparts and private sector wages are surpassing unionized ones in more and more areas.

Up 10 Down 4

Bandit on Jun 11, 2019 at 1:46 pm

Newsflash, it's nearly impossible to be fired without cause in any workplace. That's what the Labour Standards Board is all about, they can do as much or more for you than a Union can without paying monthly dues.

Up 6 Down 7

Incentive on Jun 11, 2019 at 12:24 pm

While I agree it's an odd concept to be paid a lump sum to leave, the severance acts as an incentive that encourages older more expensive employees to early retire and be replaced by younger cheaper people.
As noted, ultimately an employer sees one number as the budget for people, all inclusive of wages and any benefits in whatever form they may come. It makes no difference.
Employees just need to know that in this case they are essentially deferring wages they could have received now for a retirement bonus later, a mandatory savings program if you will. It's the exact same money from the employer just coming at a different time.

Up 15 Down 5

David Dixon on Jun 11, 2019 at 11:56 am

Hi: It seems that one commentator feels that YEU members lose out if they get an annual pay increase below the annual cost of living increase which is true. However keep in mind that all YEU workers are presently getting paid annual salaries which are 15-20% above the Canadian national average for the same specific job across all of the YEU job type spectrum. Plus all YEU members both part time, fulltime, and auxiliary on call receive a Yukon Bonus dependant upon the percentage of full time hours worked annually. The Yukon Bonus in 2009 was a cash payment of $1400.00 annually. How many other Yukon workers receive such a bonus? Very very few !!! Eventually when the Yukon budget deficit becomes so high the existing party in power will be forced to reduce total YEU wages annual cost through layoffs of government workers or reducing their present excessively high wages. This will be certainly inevitable. The Yukon Financial Advisory Panel suggested several ways to reduce government spending. Two suggestions were increasing the territorial sales tax and secondly to freeze all YEU wages. Premier Sandy Silver did not have the courage to accept either of these suggestions. Why??? Because it would anger many voters and the premier was worried about losing the next election. Absolutely pathetic!!!

Up 2 Down 14

Hank the Tank on Jun 10, 2019 at 3:39 pm

Lemmie guess....~1% per year. Well below the cost of living.

Up 28 Down 5

KC on Jun 10, 2019 at 3:36 pm

I guess "severance pay" is just something to factor into overall compensation but its existence in a workplace where it is impossible to be fired without cause it is an odd concept. The idea of people getting severance pay for quitting or retiring just seems weird to those of us in the private sector.

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