The Northwest Territories government and the union representing health-care workers in the territory have reached a temporary agreement aimed at addressing labour shortages.

The territory and Union of Northern Workers have signed a memorandum of understanding, effective until October 2024, that says nurses, nurse practitioners, midwives and medical laboratory technologists will get retention bonuses.

They have also agreed on recruitment bonuses for newly hired registered nurses, nurse practitioners and midwives.

The bonuses range from $5,000 for workers in Yellowknife, $6,000 for staff in Fort Smith or Inuvik and $7,000 for those elsewhere in the territory.

In March, the union rejected the territory’s offer of bonuses for registered nurses and medical lab technologists, saying it left out many health-care specialists.

Seven communities in the territory are currently experiencing reduced health services, including six where only emergency services are available.

—By the Canadian Press

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