Yellowknife council to convene late Friday on anticipated new collective agreement with union
Striking City of Yellowknife workers are voting on a new collective agreement today, but the results aren't expected until late into the evening.
In a joint statement Friday morning, the Union of Northern Workers (UNW) and parent union the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), say a return-to-work agreement has been finalized, and the bargaining team endorses the tentative deal.
"PSAC/UNW will be holding ratification vote sessions today and members will have the opportunity to understand the changes to the new tentative collective agreement and return to work agreement prior to voting," said UNW President Gayla Thunstrom and PSAC North Regional Executive Vice President Lorraine Rousseau.
The details of the new collective agreement have not been made public yet, but CBC has confirmed it includes raises of three per cent for 2022 and 2.75 per cent for 2023.
Union members began voting at at noon, but the results aren't expected until later as essential unionized workers began casting their ballots at 5 p.m.
"We have to make allowances for members who may contact us to vote a little later in the evening, and we need time to count ballots," Caitlin Lacey, political assistant to the president of UNW, said in an email Friday.
Yellowknife city council is set to meet at 9 p.m. Friday to potentially give second and third reading to the bylaw that would finalize the new collective agreement and end the five-week strike and lockout.
The second and third reading can't happen until the union ratifies the contract.
A city council meeting was initially scheduled for 5 p.m., around the same time as the final vote.
It's been five days since the city announced it had reached a tentative agreement with the PSAC Local X0345, which represents a majority of city workers.
In their joint statement, the unions say that once the agreement is ratified, edits will be made and the collective agreement will be made available to members on UNW's website.
Around 205 city workers have been on strike for more than five weeks. The contract dispute has centred on wages.
Neither the city nor the unions have made details of the proposed collective agreement public.
The city said it wouldn't answer any questions related to the agreement, or the impact of the work stoppage on city finances, until the deal is finalized.