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Strike out: Union, City of Whitehorse reach new collective agreement

Transit service resumed Monday after weeks of work-to-rule
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(Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

A very good outcome — those are the words Steve Geick, president of the Yukon Employees Union, used to describe the agreement arrived at by the YEU and the City of Whitehorse early the morning of April 16.

Bargaining teams were in mediation all weekend, finally coming to an agreement around 5 a.m.

“We made multiple passes through the night back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and we have come to what I think is a really good collective agreement that satisfies every party,” said Geick.

“I have the utmost respect for the members of both city and transit,” said Geick. “This was not a very easy arrangement to come to and emotions run high but everyone remained respectful and we put our heads down and we got a job done so kudos to all those people.”

That means transit workers, who had been on a work-to-rule campaign since March 19, were back on the job Monday morning.

It also means city workers, including water and waste, operations, finance, bylaw, and parks and recreation staff, were at work on Monday. The Public Service Alliance of Canada served strike notice on April 13, effective April 16 at 8 a.m.

The city and the union had been engaged in negotiations since fall 2017.

Geick said YEU membership still has to agree to the terms of the agreement. Geick declined to publicly discuss details until membership hears them.

He said the goal is for this to happen before the end of April.

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