President of the Yukon Employees’ Union, Steve Geick, speaks at a press conference in Whitehorse on Dec. 18, 2018. According to Geick, a new collective agreement between the Yukon government and the Yukon Employees’ Union will allow employees to have up to 48 hours of paid time off if they suffer an on-the-job trauma. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Union and YG ratify new collective agreement

A change around dealing with on-the-job trauma is a first for the country, says YEU president

A new collective agreement signed off on by the territorial government and its union includes a first for Canada, says the president of the Yukon Employees’ Union (YEU).

The incident leave provision enables employees to have up to 48 hours of paid time off if they suffer an on-the-job trauma, said Steve Geick.

“It’s going to allow people to take that time without having to worry about burning up their own leave, go see their doctor, go through the process and determine what it is they need going forward,” he said.

The three-year collective agreement, brought into force on July 15, is the culmination of nine months of negotiation, Geick said.

It delivers an annual salary increases (5.25 per cent, in total, over the duration of the agreement, or $16.5 million) and higher shift and weekend premiums. Nurse practitioners and airport firefighters will receive a supplementary market adjustment. Roughly $46,000 is to go towards community allowances and remote premiums, too.

Another aspect to the collective agreement, which isn’t noted in the government-issued news release, is a joint learning program, said Geick, which took three rounds of bargaining to establish.

“What we looked at doing was some more mental health training, some grievance handling training, so that both sides (employee and employer) are on the same page,” he said, adding that there will be 18 trainers. “Basically, what we’re trying to do is hand-off grievances. If we can sit down and have a conversation prior to getting into the grievance, then I think it’s better for everybody.”

Geick said he’s also pleased that there weren’t any changes to severance packages, a clear instruction from members.

Lisa Wykes, who’s serving as the public service commissioner on a temporary basis, said the process was collaborative.

“Many hours of hard work were put in by teams on both sides to reaching this collective agreement.”

The agreement, which expires on Dec. 31, 2021, applies to roughly 4,100 workers represented by the YEU and the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

Contact Julien Gignac at julien.gignac@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

UPDATED: Yukon declares state of emergency over COVID-19

Declaration should not cause panic, officials say, and risk level in Yukon remains unchanged

Yukon early childhood educators concerned about working during pandemic

Early childhood educator has circulated letter expressing concerns about care centres remaining open

YG rolls out relief measures for businesses, tenants

Employers now can recoup costs for sick leave they’ve paid out

Victoria Gold still operating Eagle Gold mine with COVID-19 precautions in place

The mine is still in operation but with precautions, including social distancing, in place

YTA, Yukon government reach agreement on hiring dispute out of court

YTA’s petition was set to be heard March 25 but was called off after the parties reached an agreement

City hall, briefly

Here’s a look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its… Continue reading

Skagway has resolve in the COVID-19 struggle, mayor says

Skagway mayor said border access is important for residents.

Yukonomist: Steering your business through COVID-19

While “proofing” your business against the impacts might not be possible, being prepared is.

History Hunter: How the Yukon was spared the influenza pandemic of 1918

The isolation of the Yukon then afford the territory some protection that it doesn’t have today

Whitehorse city council contemplates OCP change for section of the tank farm

Change would allow for commercial industrial use instead of current residential classification

Truck slides off Dempster Highway

The truck left the road around 4 p.m. on March 19. The highway was closed until March 21 for cleanup.

Most Read