Bargaining breaks down again, City of Yellowknife says
The City of Yellowknife says a fresh attempt to reach a deal with municipal workers’ unions broke down early on Monday evening.
According to the city, negotiations ended at 6pm. In a news release, the city said the Union of Northern Workers and Public Service Alliance of Canada “left the table without responding to the city’s latest offer.”
As of 7:50pm, the unions had yet to issue a statement of their own.
The city said it had not moved on its offer of two-percent annual salary increases, which the unions have maintained is at the heart of their concern. Union leaders say those increases are too low to compensate for recent high rates of inflation, and union negotiators are reported to be seeking annual increases of five percent then three percent instead.
In its Monday evening news release, the city said it had added a “one-time inflation adjustment and payment of a signing bonus” to try to bridge the gap. City Hall said that would be worth $1,500 for full-time staff, $750 for part-time or seasonal workers and $250 for casuals, paid as a lump sum once a deal with unions is signed.
“The city is committed to negotiating a collective agreement that is fair, respects the important role city employees play in Yellowknife, and is affordable for Yellowknife’s residents and businesses. The city remains available and ready to resume bargaining,” the city stated.
Last week, the city said the unions’ reported requests would equate to a property tax increase of between four and five percent for Yellowknife residents.
Industrial action began on Wednesday last week. Monday’s talks, led by a mediator who the city says has asked not to be named, represented the first attempt at bargaining between the parties since that point.