Talks Broken Off - Between Government of Nunavut and workers



    IQALUIT, Jan. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - Negotiations for a new Collective
Agreement between the Nunavut Employees Union (NEU) and the Government of
Nunavut have ended without an agreement. The Union will now apply for
mediation.
    Major differences that forced the breakdown include the employer's
positions on the Northern Allowance, retroactivity on salary and benefits,
recruitment and retention incentives, as well as operational issues for the
Correctional, Health Care and School Year Workers.
    After six sessions and almost 18 months since the last agreement expired,
the employer still refuses to recognize that its positions at the table and
Government policies that have increased housing costs are driving people out
of the north. Moreover, proposals that would further penalize those who leave
by refusing to pay them retroactively for their work sends a poor message to
those who are struggling to stay.
    The Nunavut Northern Allowance is not working. The employer proposes to
freeze rates for eight communities for four more years -- and this where there
has been no change since April of 2005. Fundamental changes are needed here.
    Great numbers of the membership have attempted to lobby the Government to
have their issues addressed.  The employer has put concessions on the table
for the Correctional Workers but has not yet addressed a single proposal for
the Health Care or School Year Workers.
    "The Union is ready to negotiate," says NEU President Doug Workman, "but
we need a willing partner, a partner that is prepared to fix what's broken."




For further information:

For further information: Doug Workman, President NEU, (867) 979-4209


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