Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Photo Submitted

YEU vice-president Justin Lemphers

YG, union reach a stalemate

The Yukon Employees’ Union (YEU) and the territorial government are at an impasse in their collective bargaining.

By Tim Giilck on June 1, 2022

The Yukon Employees’ Union (YEU) and the territorial government are at an impasse in their collective bargaining.

In the latest newsletter, YEU president Steve Geick revealed that negotiations have basically broken off at this point.

The union has now applied for a conciliator to be appointed by the Yukon Public Services Labour Relations Board.

In the newsletter, Geick said it’s the first time the union has resorted to such an application in his “more than 20 years with YEU.

“By following the conciliation process, we can pursue other actions should our attempt at mediation fail. We have informed the government that we are more than ready to return to the bargaining table before mediation if they are willing to move the process along in a respectful way.”

YEU vice-president Justin Lemphers told the Star May 24 the union is planning to consult its members further on the negotiations to gain a clear perspective on what they want.

He said the salary grid for midwives was one paramount issue, as well as addressing concerns expressed by health workers.

Lemphers said many of them are suffering from burnout after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and are leaving the profession.

“Their sick leave is being exhausted incredibly quickly,” Lemphers said. “People are just leaving.”

As for midwives, the union believes their salaries have been placed at an unreasonably low level compared to other jurisdictions.

As well, the union believes the bonuses being offered by the government to level the playing field aren’t pensionable earnings, which it deems unacceptable.

Lemphers also questions what the government and hospital corporations are doing to retain employees.

He said the government is more focused on recruiting new employees than it is on holding onto current workers.

The government responded to the union’s comments with a statement to the Star from Marcia Davidson, the acting director 
of Communications, Engagement and Strategic Initiatives with the Public Service Commission.

“We are currently engaged in collective bargaining with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) to renew our existing collective agreement, which expired on Dec. 31, 2021,” Davidson noted.

“Our representatives have met with the Alliance’s local component, the Yukon Employees’ Union, and the PSAC negotiator several times to establish a renewed collective agreement.

“The PSAC/YEU has applied for conciliation to the Yukon Public Service Labour Relations Board. We fully intend to participate in that process in a respectful way.

“The Employer and the PSAC/YEU obtained a mediator during the last round of collective bargaining which was successful in securing an agreement between the parties.

“Our government respects the bargaining process and will not be speaking about the details of those confidential discussions,” Davidson added.

Comments (22)

Up 0 Down 0

Mitch Holder on Jun 9, 2022 at 4:56 pm

Btw xisatential - I liked your comment

Up 0 Down 0

Mitch Holder on Jun 9, 2022 at 4:55 pm

@ Existential Crisis - we never were on any side, that is my point, that is where my frustration is derived from. Whereas, you say a coalition can be good, I assert a coalition need be elected to determine that. I support my axiom with today's national news and every day's national news. And we live in that nation so it applies to us. Border Services caught letting in guns, but hey, you decide which side you are on. I am on the side of reality, which , in Canada, until 2019, was majority center left.

Up 3 Down 1

Existential Crisis! on Jun 6, 2022 at 5:52 pm

In response to Mitch Holder on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:31 am & again Mitch Holder on Jun 6, 2022 at 10:27 am:

It is frankly apparent that you are extremely emotional over what is happening to “our” country. I am not happy with the imposition of the fascistic tyranny of the L-NDP coalition either. However, working together to achieve a national good should be what we expect from the people we elect to office.

This current coalition is aptly characterized as an axis of evil with their sweeping and virtually unchecked societal level changes. It is nothing less than an intended chaos and the consequences be damned. As long as we keep allowing them to use words like diversity, equity, along with jingoistic slogans such as diversity is our strength, or, implicit bias or, you will own nothing and be happy we will continue to at odds with one another.

People will lose the ability to see clearly and they will react with a vitriolic contempt that misses the opportunity for engagement and discussion. This is what the current L-NDP governments have done to our country. Canada’s international reputation is in the shytter, our PM and his cabal an international laughing stock.

However, all that aside it does no one any good to act out in anger and say things are neither accurate nor helpful.

For example:

Where you say, “Regardless of your partisan information so supplied…” I would say that any Law Society is non-partisan in their conduct… Even the Alberta Law Society.

Where you say, “… there is now a coalition in place of an elected parity.” I would say that coalitions can be a healthy happenstance in a democracy. It ideally leads to greater input into any proposed changes. It usually allows for more inclusive decision making.

However, the exclusion of the Conservative voice creates imbalance. It also teaches the younger generations who have attention, memory, and mental health issues that they don’t have to listen to others, it’s okay to take your bat and ball home when you’re losing. I get it! This current L-NDP government is causing untold harms to the health and security of the nation.

But, this batshyt crazy is happening in all Western democracies. This is because, like Liberalism, democracy too is an infinite regression of reductionist logic that winnows away any substance such that the form becomes the necessity.

Where you say, “… what do you mean "yourselves"? Are you generalizing me or implying I am multiple individuals…” I say check the emotion. My address was to you and YT. While the L-NDP coalition have suggested that math is racist I am not sure about its association with terrorism.

Whether you are multiple persons or not I cannot say without some in depth interviews and some collateral inquiries. We could set up a time to meet if you would like? Let me know!

You know what they say though, Liberalism and fascism are one in the same, mirror images of one another!
It is also known that Liberalism is associated with poor mental health. Is it any wonder that Canada is in distress?

FFS! Wake up! Stay with me… I believe we are on the same side Mitch Holder!

Up 3 Down 4

Mitch Holder on Jun 6, 2022 at 2:44 pm

Is YT having an Existential Crisis, so hard to keep up with these Libtards and their mental injuries...ahem, I mean, internal and external liabilities.

Up 0 Down 13

Mitch Holder on Jun 6, 2022 at 11:31 am

@ Existential crisis - And what do you mean "yourselves"? Are you generalizing me or implying I am multiple individuals, it is either one or the other. Damn Cons and their math and superior capability, they're terrorists right?

Up 2 Down 9

Mitch Holder on Jun 6, 2022 at 10:27 am

@EXISTSENTIAL CRISIS - Regardless of your partisan information so supplied, there is now a coalition in place of an elected parity. If you can't understand that, understand that should I cross your path and you are in trouble in any way, I will not help, I will not call for help.

Tired of arguing with idiots with deathwishes.

Up 16 Down 3

drum on Jun 4, 2022 at 4:51 pm

Lots of YG emplyees are hard working, good time keepers and realy care but the union supports the slackers and those who only want their pension and be a Cival Servant who get their paycheque from the TAXPAYERS - they seem to forget that. We. the TAXPAYERS, pay their salaries, we should expect some service.

Up 14 Down 3

Groucho d'North on Jun 4, 2022 at 10:24 am

Stalemate, isn't that similar to a tie game at the end of regulation play? Perhaps they should have a shoot-off or some similar contest to determine the winner? Either way, the taxpayers are still the ones paying for all this and we don't get a voice in the outcome.

Up 9 Down 0

Existential Crisis on Jun 3, 2022 at 11:05 pm

In response to Mitch Holder and YT - Please arm yourselves with some information on coalition governments. While the back and forth is entertaining it is not very informative.

Please Read…

Coalition Governments:
“Is a coalition government (such as the one proposed in the winter of 2008-2009) “legal” and does it fit within the Canadian concept of “democracy”?”


Up 8 Down 11

Mitch Holder on Jun 3, 2022 at 4:14 pm

YT - please prove your assertion that you are not a bot. Moreover, please post the laws enabling this coalition to exist. You show me yours and I'll show you mine and I won't judge.

Up 9 Down 9

Mitch Holder on Jun 3, 2022 at 4:11 pm

@ Lynx - well said, yeah, that dude is a sheep in sheep's clothing, failing to play a wolf in a role that requires no less.

Up 10 Down 11

Mitch Holder on Jun 3, 2022 at 4:09 pm

@ YT - Simple, here is my proof. Voting for a NDP/ Liberal coalition was not a viable option in the last federal election. Now where is your proof?

Up 13 Down 9

Mitch Holder on Jun 3, 2022 at 4:08 pm

@ Samwise Steele - Ontarian says what? In the 35 years I have been here I have watched the territories private and retail sectors, supportive to mining, peak and crash several times in tandem with mining performance, investment and exports. Tourism relies on that same retail and private sector, as does trades. There were twice as many stores in Whitehorse 10 years ago - 5 years ago, Trudeau started chasing all the investment away, and look at us now...think before you speak Cheechako.

Up 31 Down 5

Lynx on Jun 2, 2022 at 9:37 pm

This guy is an NDP hack. No wonder they aren't making any progress with negotiations. Lemphers will do everything he can to make the government look bad and prop up the NDP for the next election.

If you ever wonder why government becomes bloated and inefficient, look no further than the YEU and their NDP backers. They are constantly holding tax payers hostage with their over the top demands.

Up 37 Down 16

Yukoner on Jun 2, 2022 at 9:26 am

Just start laying people off. YG workers thinking they have had a hard time the past two years and are burnt out and don't have any sick leave left is such a joke. At least you have sick leave and got a steady paycheque the whole time because no one was laid off.

Up 37 Down 20

Max Mack on Jun 2, 2022 at 9:03 am

After the leadership of the YEU publicly disavowed the truckers' Freedom Convoy and Silver/White threw YTG workers under the bus by imposing vaccine mandates, any hint of sympathy I had for either YTG or YEU evaporated.

In my opinion, neither of these organizations are for workers.

Up 17 Down 13

Samwise Steele on Jun 2, 2022 at 7:13 am

BnR - such a foolhardy comment. But given your handle on here, not at all surprising.

Since you’ve been here your whole life, you’re likely aware that the economy is entirely propped up by YG. Mining could disappear tomorrow and no one would notice. Same with tourism. Cut the wages and less money is spent. Who would pay the marked up Yukon prices?

The born and raised mentality here. Small place, small minds.

Up 20 Down 16

YT on Jun 2, 2022 at 6:54 am

Mitch, please expand on and prove your assertion this was an “illegal and unelected coalition”.
Provide the legislation and laws that were broken.
Put up or shut up as the saying goes.

Up 28 Down 21

North_of_60 on Jun 1, 2022 at 6:11 pm

How about discussing the fact that YG's vax mandates made experienced, qualified workers choose to leave their job instead of getting jabbed with the LIBgovt's experimental drugs.

Up 73 Down 38

BnR on Jun 1, 2022 at 3:56 pm

How about a 5% wage cut right across the board?
And get all the employees still *working from home* back in the office?
And have a review of all positions to determine whether they’re all needed?
Hahahaha! Good one eh?

Up 56 Down 39

Mitch on Jun 1, 2022 at 3:26 pm

Don't fret Union, we are all ready to walk away from this government too. When stupidity also has poor listening skills, it isn't really a government anyway, especially an illegal and unelected coalition.

Up 34 Down 3

Eternity on Jun 1, 2022 at 3:20 pm

The collective agreement expired December 31, 2021. It's June 1, 2022, and a new agreement still hasn't been reached.

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.