City of Yellowknife proposes binding arbitration in effort to end strike
The City of Yellowknife says it has proposed entering into binding arbitration with the union representing striking city workers.
In a statement Thursday, the city said it made the proposal to the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Local X0345 on Wednesday in an effort to bring the work stoppage to an end.
Around 205 city workers have been on strike since Feb. 8.
Binding arbitration involves both parties presenting their case before a third-party arbitrator whom they both agree on.
The city and the union would be bound by whatever decision the arbitrator makes.
The city said that if the union agrees to binding arbitration, employees would soon go back to work and city services would start up again.
In a joint statement, the PSAC and its umbrella organization, the Union of Northern Workers (UNW), confirmed it had received the city's arbitration request.
"Right now we are focusing our efforts on discussing this development with our members and will provide a response in due time," wrote UNW President Gayla Thunstrom and PSAC North Regional Executive Vice President Lorraine Rousseau.
The city and the union have been trying to negotiate a new collective agreement since May, but are deadlocked over wages.
The union most recently proposed a 3.75 per cent wage increase starting Jan. 1, 2022, and a 3.75 per cent wage increase starting Jan. 1, 2023. It had previously asked for five per cent for 2022, and three per cent for 2023.
The city's offer is a two per cent increase for 2022, and two per cent for 2023.