MLAs vote against motion on binding arbitration with UNW

Julie Green speaks during the NWT Legislative Assembly February 6th. Youtube screenshot.
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With possible strike action by 4,000 Union of Northern Workers government employees looming, MLAs voted against calling on the GNWT to enter into binding arbitration Friday.

MLA for Yellowknife Centre Julie Green brought the motion to the legislative assembly, amid preparations for a weekend of mediation between the GNWT and the union. The motion was defeated 11 to 6, with one abstention.


The six votes in favour were: MLA for Yellowknife Centre Julie Green, MLA for Hay River North R.J. Simpson, MLA for Mackenzie Delta Frederick Blake Jr., MLA for Kam Lake Kieron Testart, MLA for Nahendeh Shane Thompson and MLA for Frame Lake Kevin O’Reilly.

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Green wrapped up discussions before the vote by saying she had lost confidence in the mediation process and this motion was a way for her to exercise political leadership as a strike looms.

“I’ve lost confidence that the process that we’re engaged in now is going to produce a result that both sides will accept and that it will result in no strike action on Monday.”

The union has given strike notice for Monday. If no progress is reached around 4,000 government workers could be on strike starting one minute past midnight Monday.

More to follow.

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