Teachers in the Northwest Territories will receive a 2.5 per cent pay increase thanks to a new one-year collective agreement (CA).

The Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association (NWTTA) and the GNWT ratified the new CA, which covers the period from Aug. 1 of this year until July 31, 2021, according to a Monday press release. Negotiations ran from June 2 to 17.

Some highlights of the new deal include:

The new collective agreement between the NWT Teachers’ Association and the GNWT will cover the period of Aug. 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021. Blair McBride/NNSL photo
  • Changes to the Northern Living Allowance methodology for when information is collected and an increase of $450 to the base used for calculating the rates.
  • Added language in the mutual Statement of Intent recognizing the GNWT’s and NWTTA’s respect for Indigenous people and culture throughout the NWT in its service
  • Added language ensuring teachers relocated to the NWT will provide at least one school year of service, or the term of the contract, whichever is less.
  • Improvements to maternal and parental leave reflecting changes to the federal Employment Insurance program which in part provides access to longer periods of leave with no negative impacts to allowance payments.
  • New category of domestic violence leave that is available to the rest of the public service.
  • Experience credit for Junior Kindergarten (JK) teachers allowing for licensed early child care experience to apply as credit for JK at a two-to-one ratio.
  • Professional development modernization recognizing mutual interest between the employer and NWTTA in reviewing of Article 16 on professional development to ensure clarity and modernization of the approach taken towards professional development in the NWT by forming a working group.

“I am pleased that both parties worked collaboratively to reach an agreement that will benefit all NWT stakeholders,” said R.J. Simpson, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment. “I am very proud of our teachers and their unwavering dedication through the unprecedented challenges our education system has faced this year. It is wonderful to see a fair agreement that provides stability and security during what may be the most challenging school year of our teachers’ careers.”

NWTTA president Matthew Miller said he is pleased the agreement was reached during a period when schools were closed to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I want to thank both sides for their professionalism and dedication to the processes. This agreement has strengthened supports for educators at a time when workload and expectations continue to rise.”

Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek said she is grateful that the GNWT’s positive relationship with the NWTTA helped both parties through the negotiations, which even in pre-pandemic times could be challenging.

“The collective agreement … could not have been reached if it wasn’t for our shared focus on providing stability and security for our NWT educators and students during this challenging time,” she said.

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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