The GNWT and the territorial teacher’s association have reached a new collective agreement which includes an increase in wages and the Northern Living Benefit.
The new agreement also includes improvements to maternity and parental leave, the inclusion of domestic violence as an admissible reason for leave is now explicitly outlined and a mutual commitment “to prioritize and respect” Indigenous history is also included.
“This agreement has strengthened supports for educators at a time when workload and expectations continue to rise,” said Matthew Miller, President of the Northwest Territories Teachers Association.
The agreement will cover approximately 450 members who work for the South Slave, Dehcho, Beaufort Delta, and Sahtu Divisional Education Councils, as well as for the Commission scolaire francophone de division and Tłı̨chǫ Community Services Agency.
The agreement came into effect on August 1, 2020 and will last for one year, expiring July 31, 2021. Negotiations for a new collective agreement began virtually on June 2, 2020 and ended on June 17, 2020.
“Negotiating a new collective agreement can be challenging under even ideal conditions and the current fiscal and economic uncertainty are far less than ideal,” said Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance.
The wage increase is the same as the standard increase across the public service, 2.5 per cent. The Northern Living Benefit has been increased by $450.
The deal also adds language about requirements for teachers who are moved to the North by the GNWT, “to ensure they will provide at least one school year of service or the term of the contract, whichever is less.”
“We are grateful for the positive relationship with the NWTTA that helped in navigating these unique challenges,” she added. “The collective agreement between the GNWT and NWTTA 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.”