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Strike vote averted as Yukon government, union reach tentative deal

Collective agreement between the two parties expired on Dec. 31, 2021
Government of Yukon sign seen outside the legislative building on May 8. The Yukon government and the union representing unionized government workers have reached a tentative deal ahead of a strike vote. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

The Yukon government and the union representing more than 3,500 unionized government workers have reached a tentative agreement ahead of a strike vote that was authorized and poised to take place in early June.

According to a May 26 release from the union, the two parties — the territorial government and the Public Service Alliance of Canada/Yukon Employees’ Union — have agreed to the “unanimous, non-binding” recommendations from the conciliation board’s executive panel following meetings held over the May long weekend.

As per a joint May 26 release from the government and the union, collective bargaining between the parties started in November 2021 to renew the collective agreement, which expired on Dec. 31, 2021.

The tentative agreement is subject to ratification and details won’t be released until after the ratification process is done, the release states.

“I am pleased that we have reached a tentative agreement that recognizes the hard work of employees as well as our government’s fiscal responsibility to Yukoners,” Premier Ranj Pillai said in the joint release.

“Thank you to Yukon government employees for their patience as we worked through what was a particularly long round of collective bargaining. We are grateful for the work you do for Yukoners each and every day. I would also like to acknowledge and thank the negotiating teams who worked so hard throughout the negotiation process.”

The union’s release indicates the government and the union reached an impasse on Jan. 12. The conciliation board met in late April, but the talks came to a halt when the employer left the table on April 29, the union said.

As per the release, the union will be recommending its members accept the tentative agreement.

“These negotiations were difficult, and our members had a lot at stake,” Yukon Employees’ Union president Steve Geick said in the union’s release.

“Our bargaining team was strong, and never lost sight of our members’ priorities. This tentative agreement is a result of member solidarity and determination.”

In the union’s release, Lorraine Rousseau, the regional executive vice president for the Public Service Alliance of Canada, noted the union fought hard to come to the tentative agreement.

“This bargaining unit refused to settle for a bad contract, and their strength has resulted in an agreement to be proud of.”

Contact Dana Hatherly at

Dana Hatherly

About the Author: Dana Hatherly

I’m the legislative reporter for the Yukon News.
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