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Trash talk: Yellowknife, union at 'impasse' in negotiations

A recycling truck passes a garbage truck as they drop their loads at the landfill. NNSL File Photo

Contract talks between the City of Yellowknife and a public sector union have reached an "impasse."

The two sides can't come to terms on the use of contract workers at the city's solid waste processing facility, according to a press release issued by a city spokesperson late Wednesday afternoon.

"The City has reaffirmed with both the Union and City employees that the potential of contracting out garbage baling would not result in any reduction in the workforce or transfer of employees," Kerry Penney, the city's director of policy, communications and economic development said in an email. "Despite the current impasse, the next stage is conciliation and the City remains hopeful that we will be successful in reaching a Collective Agreement (CA)."

Officials with Local X0345 of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) could not be reached immediately.

Penney said under the current CA, the city has the right to contract out work provided there is prior consultation with the union, which took place Aug. 1.

"In response to local, national and international changes with recycling and solid waste management issues, the City is looking at a range of options including potentially contracting out baling garbage," Penney said. "The purpose of this would be to pilot a new approach to garbage baling so that (solid waste facility) staff can focus on the other duties in their job descriptions that will improve garbage and recycling activities for the community."