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Yukon hospital workers’ union postpones ratification meetings

Play comes after union bargaining team received “new information” that could affect working conditions
Whitehorse General Hospital is seen across the Yukon River as ice breaks up earlier in March. The bargaining team representing some Yukon hospital employees has postponed ratification meetings. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News)

The bargaining team representing a few hundred Yukon hospital workers has made a “highly unusual” move to hold off on planned ratification meetings, according to an update on the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) North website.

The decision to postpone the ratification meetings comes after “new information” made its way to the bargaining team since bargaining concluded, per the online update for PSAC Local Y025.

The update is scant on details but suggests the “new information” will materially impact working conditions.

The purpose of the ratification meetings has been shifted to special information sessions arranged for March 26 and 27. The sessions will be in person at Whitehorse hotels and virtually for communities.

On March 1, the News reported that shortly after some unionized hospital workers voted in favour of a strike mandate, a provisional deal was reached between the unions representing Yukon hospital workers and the Yukon Hospital Corporation.

READ MORE: Yukon Hospital Corporation and workers’ unions tentatively agree

The Yukon Employees Union (YEU) and the PSAC local attributed that move forward in negotiations toward a tentative agreement to the recent strike vote.

According to YEU president Justin Lemphers, the strike vote was open to members of the PSAC, which holds the bargaining ticket. All YEU members who work at the hospital fall under that PSAC local.

The union and the hospital corporation haven’t had a contract since September 2022, per the unions’ joint March 1 release.

After eight months of negotiating, the bargaining team applied for conciliation on Nov. 28, 2023, as noted in the release.

A source from the Yukon Hospital Corporation previously told the News talks have been ongoing since the collective agreement expired at midnight on Aug. 31, 2022. Discussions resumed the week of March 1 through the conciliation process.

According to the Yukon Hospital Corporation website, PSAC represents administrative, custodial, lab, imaging and food services staff, licensed practical nurses and others.

The unions have previously indicated about 350 to 400 workers are affected.

The unions declined an interview before membership meetings wrap up.

The Yukon Hospital Corporation didn’t immediately respond to the News’ request for an interview.

Contact Dana Hatherly at

Dana Hatherly

About the Author: Dana Hatherly

I’m the legislative reporter for the Yukon News.
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