N.W.T. gov't and teachers' association ratify new collective agreement

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Matthew Miller, NWT Teachers' Association president, pictured in August 2020. The teachers' association and the territorial government have ratified a new two-year collective agreement. (Kate Kyle/CBC - image credit)
Matthew Miller, NWT Teachers' Association president, pictured in August 2020. The teachers' association and the territorial government have ratified a new two-year collective agreement. (Kate Kyle/CBC - image credit)

A new agreement between the Northwest Territories Teachers' Association and the territorial government has been ratified and it includes a retroactive salary increase.

The agreement is effective as of Aug. 1, 2021 and will continue until July 31, 2023. It includes a retroactive salary top up of 1.5 per cent along with another 1.5 per cent salary boost on Aug. 1, 2022.

Matthew Miller, the association's president, says he is "pleased" to have reached the two-year collective agreement with the government.

"I want to thank both negotiating teams for their professionalism and dedication to the processes," Miller said in joint news release.

Among the other highlights, the agreement also includes a commitment to jointly review the workload of teachers.

There was a clarification of prep time through amendments which identify that prep time will not be "unreasonably reassigned."

It also includes COVID-19 leave, which the release says will not impact sick and special leave banks moving
forward. As well, sick and special leave banks that were depleted due to COVID-19 will be reimbursed in employees' respective leave banks, the release says.

Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada
Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada

The agreement allows for the Northern Living Allowance to revert to the Aug. 1, 2020 rates if the recent update resulted in a decrease, the joint news release says. There are no changes to the Northern Living Allowance until next calculations in 2023.

Negotiations for the agreement started on May 17 and ended on June 18, when both sides reached a tentative agreement. The last agreement expired on July 31.

Finance minister Caroline Wawzonek said in the release that the "positive" collaboration between the territory and teachers' association "supports a strong public service, necessary in creating a foundation that provides a positive and constructive environment for students and educators alike."

"This represents collaborative work by both parties to reach a fair agreement that provides stability and security for our N.W.T. educators that will benefit all stakeholders in the N.W.T. school system," said R.J. Simpson, minister of education, culture and employment in the release.

"I am appreciative of the resilience and dedication of our teachers over this past year and half amidst these continued challenging times."

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