Air North and union reach a possible deal

After a week of renewed negotiations, Air North and its flight attendants have reached a tentative contract agreement.

After a week of renewed negotiations, Air North and its flight attendants have reached a tentative contract agreement.

Details of the deal are not being released until the approximately 30 flight attendants vote whether or not to ratify it.

“It has taken commitment from both bargaining teams to arrive at this deal. We appreciate the amount of work that has gone into the tentative contract. There was a lot of ground to cover in a short time,” said Yukon Employees Union president Steve Geick in a statement.

If the deal is approved by the flight attendants, it will be the first union contract at the locally-owned airline.

Both sides are confident the agreement will be ratified in the next few weeks, the airline said in a statement of its own.

“We’ll streamline our costs in staffing, scheduling and compensation – and in the process our flight attendants will have the opportunity to earn more and find a better work/life balance,” president Joe Sparling wrote.

“This process presented a tremendous learning curve for the company, and we’d like to take the opportunity to thank the efforts of our management team and our negotiator. Although the negotiations took longer than either party had hoped, we feel the result was worth it.”

Not long ago, any sort of deal appeared far off.

Tensions between the two sides reached a peak at the end of September when the flight attendants began a work to rule. On some flights they refused to do more than the basics to keep the planes safe. That meant no food or beverages for passengers.

Some protesting flight attendants who refused to wear their full uniforms were sent home. Tempers flared, but after 48 hours the two sides agreed to go back to the table to continue negotiations.

Both sides then maintained a media blackout until Friday, when the tentative deal was announced.

The two sides have been negotiating since October 2013.

When the job action was announced, Geick said 85 per cent of the flight attendants approved it.

The union said employees were frustrated with the slow speed of negotiations.

The union insists that Air North flight attendants are paid lower than those in similar-sized airlines.

No one has said exactly how much of a pay bump the flight attendants are looking for.

Aside from a salary increase, other stumbling blocks to the negotiations were the company’s pay grid, guaranteed work hours and vacation pay.

Sparling has said many of the issues are tied to the company’s desire to keep full time employees and avoid laying people off in the off-season.

Contact Ashley Joannou at

ashleyj@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services building in Whitehorse on March 28, 2019. Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed for good say they were relieved to hear that the Yukon RCMP has undertaken a forensic audit into the now-defunct NGO’s financial affairs. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Former Many Rivers board members relieved to hear about forensic audit, wonder what took so long

Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed… Continue reading

Whitehorse General Hospital in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. The Yukon Employees’ Union and Yukon Hospital Corporation are at odds over whether there’s a critical staffing shortage at the territory’s hospitals. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
YEU, Yukon Hospital Corp. at odds over whether hospitals are understaffed

YEU says four nurses quit within 12 hours last week, a claim the YHC says is “inaccurate”

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates, Ray Hartling and Mark Lange, have filed a class action against the jail, corrections officials and Yukon government on behalf of everyone who’s been placed in two restrictive units over the past six years. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Class action filed against Whitehorse Correctional Centre over use of segregation

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates have filed a class action against… Continue reading

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 21, 2020

Movie poster for <em>Ìfé,</em> a movie being shown during OUT North Film Festival, which includes approximately 20 different films accessible online this year. (Submitted)
OUT North Film Festival moves to virtual format

In its ninth year, the artistic director said this year has a more diverse set of short and feature films

Triple J’s Canna Space in Whitehorse on April 17, 2019, opens their first container of product. Two years after Canada legalized the sale of cannabis, Yukon leads the country in per capita legal sales. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon leads Canadian cannabis sales two years after legalization

Private retailers still asking for changes that would allow online sales

A sign greets guests near the entrance of the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse on June 11. The city announced Oct. 16 it was moving into the next part of its phased reopening plan with spectator seating areas open at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CGC reopening continues

Limited spectator seating now available

During Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward a recommendation that a proposed Official Community Plan amendment move forward that would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend, currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
More development in Whistle Bend contemplated

OCP change would be the first of several steps to develop future area

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

asdf
Today’s mailbox: Mad about MAD

Letters to the editor published Oct. 16, 2020

Most Read