A tentative agreement has been reached between the Yukon Hospital Corporation, the Yukon Employees’ Union and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, representing more than 300 staff working in a variety of positions, ranging from nurses to security staff and more, at Yukon hospitals.
Union members have been without a contract since August 2019 with talks underway for nearly a full year. There were a number of delays during the talks as well as a move to virtual negotiations due to COVID-19.
“It was very difficult,” YEU president Steve Geick said in a Dec. 17 interview, noting he’s glad a tentative deal has been reached after nearly a year of challenging negotiations.
Details on what’s contained in the three-year deal are not being released at this time as virtual meetings still have to be scheduled to provide union members with the details ahead of a vote. While the union said those meetings will happen soon, no date has been set.
Details will be made available should the deal be ratified.
Geick noted issues around workload and accessing leave were among the concerns for the union and were exasperated by COVID-19 this year.
“We know workers have been through a lot, and the uncertainty of working this long without a contract has added to their stress,” he said. “We hope this three-year contract allows time for the employer to implement some promised improvements to workplace safety and staffing levels.”
PSAC regional executive vice-president Jack Bourassa praised staff at the territory’s three hospitals, noting they “put themselves in harm’s way for the communities they serve every day.
“The bargaining team has worked hard to secure a strong contract that helps build a respectful and safe work environment and I want to commend their work on behalf of the membership.”
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