Nunavut Government and Quilliq Energy Corporation workers voting on strike action

IQALUIT, NU, Sept. 15, 2011 /CNW/ - Members of the Nunavut Employees Union (NEU), a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), employed by the Government of Nunavut and the Quilliq Energy Corporation are starting to take strike votes across the territory in anticipation of mediation sessions with both employers.

Strike votes will take place for unionized government workers in Kugluktuk on September 19 and in Cambridge Bay on September 20.  There will be a September 21 vote by members at the Qulliq Energy Corporation in Cambridge Bay.  Votes in other locations are being scheduled.

"After a year of bargaining with the government, union proposals covering pay, the northern allowance, vacation leave and issues related to health care workers remain unresolved," says NEU President Doug Workman.

The government's demands related to casual and term workers, as well as to other conditions of employment also remain on the table.

The parties held their first meeting in September 2010, followed by meetings in December and in April.  With little progress, the union applied for mediation.  The Minister of Human Resources at the time declined to appoint a mediator and encouraged NEU to resume face-to-face talks.

"So far the employer has been unresponsive, with little movement on our issues," says Workman.  "Delays in the appointment of a mediator have also extended the bargaining process."

Talks in August failed to produce a settlement and after both parties asked for a mediator to be appointed, the Minister of Human Resources Daniel Shewchuk agreed.

Negotiations with the Quilliq Energy Corporation have also proved unsuccessful and a mediator has been appointed.

PSAC's agreement with the Nunavut government expired on September 30, 2010 and the agreement with QEC on December 31, 2010.

SOURCE PSAC

For further information:

Doug Workman, President, Nunavut Employees' Union, (867) 222-1397 (cell)

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