While unionized city workers in Yellowknife continue to walk the picket lines, the same can’t be said for unionized employees with the Town of Fort Smith.
Members of the UNW/PSAC Local 2 have voted to ratify a new collective agreement between it and the town. The vote happened on Wednesday with the result being made official by both the UNW and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) North on Friday.
It’s a three-year deal which begins retroactively on Jan. 1, 2023 and will run until 2025. There will be a wage increase totalling 8.5 per cent over the course of the deal, along with a three per cent increase to the Northern Allowance benefit retroactive to Jan. 1 of this year.
Some other parts of the new deal include one extra day of special leave per year, an increase from five to six; up to 30 days worth of leave, which is up from 25; up to eight days leave for traditional Indigenous hunting, fishing, harvesting or cultural activities, participation in various sporting events and up to three days to be used for religious or cultural holidays that are not specified in the collective agreement; an increase in shift premiums to $1.90 per hour for evening and night hours and the addition of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to the list of designated paid holidays.
“The union was very pleased to see a tentative agreement reached after one round of negotiations,” stated UNW president Gayla Thunstrom. “When both sides are willing to come together and bargain in good faith, everybody wins.”
Negotiations on the happened between Feb. 14 and 16 with a tentative agreement announced on Feb. 17.