Whitehorse Daily Star

YG workers may get 5.25 per cent over three years

Approximately 4,000 members of the Yukon Employees’ Union are voting this week on whether to accept a new three-year collective agreement.

By Whitehorse Star on July 17, 2019

Approximately 4,000 members of the Yukon Employees’ Union are voting this week on whether to accept a new three-year collective agreement.

The union leadership is recommending acceptance of the package.

It includes a general wage increase of 5.25 per cent over three years, or 1.75 per cent in each year retroactive to Jan. 1, 2019.

The previous agreement expired last Dec. 31.

The four crews representing the leadership team are on the road this week visiting each community and highway camp to explain the agreement and collect votes from the union membership.

Union president Steve Geick, for instance, was at the Ogilvie Camp on the Dempster Highway conducting a roadside meeting Tuesday and was in Eagle Plains this morning.

The ratification meetings will wrap up Thursday, with a final session in Whitehorse.

Union members must vote in person.

The collective agreement touches upon everything from shift premiums to maternity and parental leave.

It also entrenches the continuation of accumulated severance pay which provides members with one week of wages for every year worked upon their departure from the Yukon government.

The allotment for personnel in the 2019-20 territorial budget is $557.6 million, or 37 per cent of the $1.5-billion budget. That doesn’t include the staff of Yukon College nor the territory’s hospitals.

Comments (10)

Up 3 Down 2

BnR on Jul 23, 2019 at 8:03 am

Yukon Employees Union aka Wilf. Dude, your writing is your signature.

Up 8 Down 4

Yukonmax on Jul 22, 2019 at 6:36 am

As a small contractor for YG, I am still waiting for the "change of order" for my contract to adjust with the consumer price index. A pitiful 2%. It came in effect April 1st 2019. Nice to see they take care of themselves. 4 months to figure out how to add 2% to my hourly rate and still waiting.

Up 15 Down 15

Yukon Employees Union on Jul 18, 2019 at 2:00 pm

Yukon Employees Union gets funding from the Yukon Government if they put the President and VP in these positions. So Yukon Government pays for the salary of President and VP. Let them say this is not true. So who is the Yukon Employees Union working for, members or Yukon Government.
Yukon Employees Union members this does not cover the cost of living increases with all the tax increases and inflation. Just to keep up with these two changes you will need at least 9 to 12% increase in the next three years. I would vote it down and 51% most vote before this can pass according to all union rules across Canada. Check and see how many members actual get to vote. I talked to 15 members today and none new there was going to be a vote this week. Liberals if you don't get on top of this you will get blamed for it.

Up 31 Down 5

Juniper Jackson on Jul 18, 2019 at 1:41 pm

Government employee's, for the most part, are in there every day just doing their job.. that is talking about the guy/gals that actually do the work. You know..the worker bees. The trend now, is give managers/adms/dms computers and eliminate their assistants.. it turned out that it was the assistants doing the work that needed to be done, writing the letters, updating the programs, and the top knobs went to meetings with catered lunches, traveled to every conference going under the sun..Skype means nothing to them.

There is a dearth of talented educated people in the top ranks..There for the money, and there is lots of that too.. up to or over $150K.. They don't even spend their money here because they can afford Hawaii, Mexico, Cancun. So, I agree for those reasons, that the upper escutcheon needs to be reviewed and pared down. I also think they need to hire people that speak English, or French clearly enough to understand what you are saying to them. Yukon born and raised get NO preference in hiring. Yukon College turns out finance and office admin every year..someone from Ontario gets that job. Our own youth are leaving us and finding jobs that many of this governments new employee's couldn't qualify for anywhere else.

That being said: the upcoming health review. I don't want it to be about money.. every time they make it about money, the public gets royally screwed. It cost in the summer, approx 900. a day to see a specialist in Vancouver.. The government pays 75. on the second day and plane fare. You pay the rest.. what if you can't pay the rest? Lady in Faro, can't pay meds or travel..she said she will die.. another lady, kidney failure, couldn't pay.. she did die.. If a health review decides case workers should only work 3 days a week so the dear souls don't get burned out.. they will take that money from medical travel, or senior pharma care.. or some place else that hurts us. Every time there is a health review, and there have been a lot of them, the public loses out. IF however, you are on welfare.. you can receive an advance check, 90. a day per diem, plus taxi/ plus you can stay at a reasonably priced hotel.. (i've spent the night sleeping on the floor at the airport.) Be careful what we ask for on these reviews.. I'm pretty sure it won't be an equal parsing of the available funding.

Again.. that being said.. the worker bee's..not the queens, these are the folks who can afford this foolish carbon tax...they are spending their money in town, or camping in the Yukon, not being able to afford much else, and.. they, in their jobs, hear your story... they do the best they can to eliminate the red tape, they want to do whatever they can do to take care of your issue.. Gotta love our worker bee's...

Up 29 Down 13

Be happy you get something! on Jul 18, 2019 at 12:26 pm

YG employees should be grateful they get an increase.... the Alberta Government employees haven't seen increases for the last 4 years and the way it looks, won't be getting anything again, maybe even possible rollbacks. Stop complaining and be happy with what you have.

Up 33 Down 18

David Michael Dixon on Jul 18, 2019 at 12:06 pm

37% of the total Yukon budget is being spent annually on YEU wages. Yukon government employee pool is growing yearly. The Yukon is guaranteed to be headed for a huge recession in a short period of time. The government is presently doing a review of the Health and Social Services department with the goal to reduce its overall spending annually. This review better come up with ways to significantly reduce spending. Then all other departments must also reduce spending. Don't reduce services to Yukoners. Instead layoff YEU members and break open the contact and reduce the wages of all YEU workers by 15%. Also terminate many many top level overpaid managers. By doing nothing, by ignoring this problem Yukon for certain is headed for future very large budget deficits.

Up 28 Down 4

Pretty sad on Jul 18, 2019 at 11:46 am

Canada's inflation rate is down to 2% from 2.4%, this increase of 1.75% won't even cover regular increases in cost of living. I've never been a government worker or a union member, but please enlighten me, if you have someone you pay to negotiate on behalf of you, and to have your best interest in mind how the hell do you justify this? Also let's not forget if you are a property owner, your property tax also just increased 2.3%...

Up 20 Down 14

Wes on Jul 18, 2019 at 9:02 am

Done with the YEU, if you're not in favour of the YEUs stance, get involved. It's YOUR union after all. Laziness is not an excuse.

Up 25 Down 7

Seth Wright on Jul 17, 2019 at 7:11 pm

@ Done with YEU - It is unfortunate that we have a weak Union and that we have been losing ground for the last 20 years or so. Be prepared to lose more and you can also expect wage rollbacks and reclassification schemes to create multi-tiered employee entitlements - The haves and the have nots...

Up 45 Down 19

Done with YEU on Jul 17, 2019 at 2:55 pm

You can ask Geick (but he won't answer, I've tried) how many actually vote on this contract, I suspect around 5% of members do given the time lines, lack of information and the requirement to be in town to vote during the small window to vote. Why not mail every member a ballot and they can mail it back?

Personally, I'd rather opt out of the union and keep my $2k in annual dues than let these guys 'collectively bargain' on my behalf. Every contract for the past 20 years has kicked members further back economically.

I do not stand in favour of this proposed contract.

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