The union did not give an interview on the agreement, but on Monday CBC received a memo on the union`s letter to its membership. It says, “There are a few areas where the union needs clarification,” without specifying what those areas are. When problems arise in the workplace, staff would go to the Commissioner`s office individually. It was a frustrating and difficult way to deal with employment problems, and there was no collective strength in that approach. About 100 NWT government employees began their work to create the NWT Territorial Employees Association. Over the years, UNW members have made many important and positive progress for unionized workers. Wages and working conditions have improved for unionized workers thanks to the strength of collective bargaining. In 1998, the Hay Plan, a gender-neutral wage assessment system, was incorporated into the collective agreement with the GNWT. Signing a five-year agreement provides some air to breathe before the two sides meet again to resume the process, Ready said. “Negotiating a new collective agreement can be difficult under ideal conditions.
The current fiscal and economic environment has been an additional challenge,” Finance Minister Robert C. McLeod said in the communication. Stewart also said the government would check how negotiations failed to improve their process in two years – the next time the collective agreement is under discussion. “It should be remembered that the parties are already nearly three years longer than the expiry of their old collective agreement and that the imposition of a four-year contract could lead the parties back to the negotiating table within months of the conclusion of the current negotiations,” he wrote. Mr. Ready said he had tried to “repeat what the parties would have achieved in the negotiations if they were to freely negotiate a collective agreement with the application of economic sanctions such as strike or lockout.” The memo also stated that a meeting of members would be held in the “coming weeks” to discuss the agreement. At the opening of its recommendation document, Ready wrote: “During mediation, both parties worked hard to resolve their differences and reach an agreement on the renewal of their collective agreement to avoid an imminent strike. In his report, Ready said it would be an “euphemism” to say that the negotiations are “difficult and sometimes controversial.” He said the two sides “worked hard” during the conciliation to resolve their differences, but that the discussions were “mainly met with some employment security issues, the duration of the agreement and economic increases.” The region argues that for almost all workers, with the exception of those already at the top of their current pay scale, an additional step increase of 2.6 per cent per year would be added, representing an average wage increase per worker of 9.2 per cent on the five-year contract. Conciliation dates are scheduled for February 8 and 9. The union is also working on separate collective agreements with the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority and the NWT Power Corporation, both of which are scheduled for further mediation meetings during the same week.