Yukon College students board a City of Whitehorse transit bus in this 2014 file photo. The City of Whitehorse will enter into mediation with the Yukon Employees Union on April 14 and 15. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)

City of Whitehorse, union reach agreement on essential services ahead of mediation

Two sides hadn’t updated essential services agreement since 2006

The City of Whitehorse will enter into mediation with the Yukon Employees Union on April 14 and 15.

It’s the latest move in a string of negotiations that began in October 2017.

At that time, locals Y022 (transit) and Y023 (city workers) filed for conciliation with the city after bargaining in an effort to resolve issues around wages and working conditions.

Local Y022 has been engaged in a work-to-rule campaign since March 19.

Local Y023, which includes water and waste, operations, finance, bylaw, and parks and recreation, has not yet served strike notice because the union and the city had been unable to agree on what constitutes essential services.

Last week, however, said YEU president Steve Geick, the city and the union came to a mutual agreement on essential services.

Myles Dolphin, a spokesperson for the City of Whitehorse, said this includes anything involving public health and safety, road clearing for emergency vehicles, heavy equipment repair and anything involving dangerous animals in the city.

If the city and the union can come to an agreement over the weekend, this won’t be necessary, but Dolphin said it’s still a positive development because the city hadn’t had an updated essential services agreement since 2006.

“Hopefully we can have a deal,” Geick told the News over the phone on April 11. “We are prepared to go back and work, well, not 24-7, but 24-2 until we can hammer out a deal. The intention is never to take a job action unless we absolutely have to.”

Since the work-to-rule campaign began, Dolphin said, transit manager Cheri Malo has been working long hours to minimize transit disruptions.

In some cases, this has included using the Handy Bus to fill in on regular routes, as long as passengers have not booked it.

Dolphin wasn’t aware of any conflicts with this approach, but in the event the Handy Bus is being used on a route when someone calls to book it, they’re advised to call one of the city’s cab companies. Every cab company in town has at least one accessible vehicle available.

Dolphin also said those who have experienced delays can bring in their monthly bus passes and get a coupon for 50 per cent off May’s pass.

Geick said he hopes to have an update in the coming days.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

Yukon legislative assembly wraps up until fall

Group home claims, carbon pricing squabble dominate spring sitting

Trial begins for man accused in 2016 Whitehorse sexual assault

Dion Roberts, 30, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman after a night out

Composting will become mandatory for Whitehorse food producers in 2019

‘To us, it just makes sense and good business’

Man in custody after police search Whitehorse home

Lockdown of area schools and daycare lifted; residents can return home

As Osoyoos Indian Band flourishes, so too does Okanagan’s wine tourism

Indigenous practices have driven growth of South Okanagan’s wine history and agricultural influence

Yukon delegation visits First Nations-led child welfare agencies in B.C.

The trip, which happened in late March, was organized by the Council of Yukon First Nations

Bus passenger left by the side of the road

I am an elderly wheelchair-bound lady who regularly uses the bus system… Continue reading

Whitehorse’s favourite revue finds new life as Klondike Follies

‘It’s like going back to the family home in a way’

Gold Rush star Tony Beets appeals pond fire fines

Beets and his company, Tamarack Inc., were fined $31k for violating portions of the Waters Act

Defence lawyer asks Crown appeal of Kolasch acquittal be dismissed

In factum, Harry Kolasch’s lawyer says it’s clear that police officer used excessive force

Yukon Liberals raise $20,000 at Vancouver hockey game

Silver says no public money spent on trip, party refuses to say who bought tickets

Inspector, CYFN lawyer talk about WCC inspection at justice conference

David Loukidelis and Jennie Cunningham spoke about the Whitehorse Correctional Centre

Most Read