Mr. Vince Ready, a highly-regarded mediator, has been chosen to assist the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Union of Northern Workers attempt to conclude a new collective agreement.
Ready has arbitrated and mediated over 7,000 labour and commercial disputes across Canada.
“Mr. Ready brings considerable experience in mediation, including public sector mediation, and we look forward to working with him and the UNW to reach an agreement during this period of challenging economic times,” said David Stewart, Deputy Minister of Finance.
The GNWT and the Union have been negotiating a new collective agreement since January 2016. After multiple rounds of negotiations, agreement was reached on a number of items. Although the Union has not served the GNWT with notice of mediation under the Public Service Act for the outstanding issues, the parties agreed to proceed with identifying a mediator and determining dates.
Both parties have said they are optimistic that a negotiated agreement can be reached.
“We also remain prepared to return to the bargaining table prior to October should the UNW wish to continue working towards a resolution,” said Stewart.
“Although the GNWT characterized the economic times as “challenging”, the reality is that they are have boasted about the millions of dollars of operating surpluses,” said Todd Parsons, President of the Union of Northern Workers.
“We also remain prepared to return to the bargaining table prior to October should the GNWT wish to change their current position,” Parsons said.
Mediation dates have been scheduled with Mr. Ready for October 25-27, 2018 in Yellowknife.