Photo by Whitehorse Star
Sandy Silver and Steve Geick
Photo by Whitehorse Star
Sandy Silver and Steve Geick
Yukon government employees will receive wage increases of 10.5 per cent over three years in the new collective agreement they have ratified.
The ratification, announced Tuesday, will cost an additional $50 million, the government said.
Highlights of the new agreement include:
• an increase in acting pay from five per cent to 10 per cent;
• an increase in the auxiliary benefit allowance from $2 to $4;
• an increase in the shift premium from $2.25 to $3;
• an increase in the retention allowance for social workers;
• a new retention allowance for corrections officers I & II – $3,000
• a new retention allowance for Student Support Services – $1,000;
• new nurse pay grids;
• a new midwives pay grid;
• a new retention allowance for a primary care paramedic ($3,000) and critical care paramedic ($6,000); and
• a new retention allowance for a primary health care nurse ($8,000) and primary health care nurse in charge ($18,000).
The wage increase of 10.5 per cent over three years is “in line with the recently negotiated agreement for federal public servants,” the government said.
“This was a particularly long round of collective bargaining, as there were some significant factors, most notably the increased inflation rate and availability of the parties, that influenced negotiations.”
The government has 120 days following ratification by the union membership to implement the new collective agreement, which covers approximately 3,515 employees, according to the government.
Once in place, the new agreement, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2022, will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2024.
“I believe this agreement is fair and balanced overall, as it recognizes the value of our employees and the services they provide to all Yukoners, while upholding our fiscal responsibility as a government when it comes to managing public funds,” said Sandy Silver, the minister responsible for the Public Service Commission.
Public Service Commissioner Sherri Young said she wants to thank the negotiating teams who have worked so hard to get us to an agreement.
“Negotiations are not always easy, and they require hard work and a relationship of trust and mutual understanding that must be built and rebuilt.”
The Yukon Employees’ Union (YEU) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada represent the bargaining unit involved.
“Extraordinary attendance was observed at contract ratification meetings held across the Yukon last week,” they said Tuesday.
“After today’s ballot count, we can say that Yukon Government workers have voted overwhelmingly to accept the tentative deal, ratifying their new contract.”
The vote breakdown was not released.
YEU president Steve Geick congratulated the union’s bargaining team “for their steadfast work, and the membership for their solidarity and willingness to go through the ropes for the contract they deserve.
“This was a marathon, but for over 18 months our team went toe-to-toe with management on behalf of their colleagues,” he said.
“I am very proud of the work this team did, and thankful that the members were ready to fight to support a good deal.
“We have a deal but the work isn’t over; the employer has shown us what they intend to do next round and we’ll be ready – you can count on it,” Geick added.
Josée-Anne Spirito, the regional executive vice-president for PSAC North, said “I want to congratulate and thank the bargaining team for their hard work and determination in getting a fair deal for our members, and standing up to concessions.
“I also want to applaud the membership for standing strong with their bargaining team for the last two years.
“Today, your efforts ensure that workers get what they deserve,” Spirito added.
The government said, “The Government of Yukon values the work of the Yukon public service, and is pleased to announce a new collective agreement in place with the Yukon Employees’ Union.”
It had been announced May 26 that both the union and the government had accepted the unanimous, non-binding recommendations of a Conciliation Board’s executive panel following meetings held over the Victoria Day weekend.
The workers and the government had reached a negotiations impasse last Jan. 12.
The Conciliation Board met for the first time in late April, but talks ended when the government left the table on April 29, the YEU said.
The union had been poised to take a strike vote in a Yukon-wide series of meetings this month.
Those meetings transformed into a chance to offer members the opportunity to review the tentative deal, ask questions, and vote to ratify or reject.
“These negotiations were difficult, and our members had a lot at stake,” Geick said at the time.
“Our bargaining team was strong, and never lost sight of our members’ priorities. This tentative agreement is a result of member solidarity and determination.”
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