Yellowknife's golden stairway of municipal aspiration is pictured outside City Hall in February 2023. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
A special meeting of Yellowknife city councillors to authorize a new collective agreement with municipal staff won’t happen as originally planned.
The meeting was originally called for Tuesday, according to a document published on the city’s website. However, that document has now been withdrawn and the meeting is no longer listed.
City spokesperson Kerry Thistle said the meeting would likely be rescheduled for Wednesday.
Thistle said the meeting’s disappearance from the city’s website was solely to adjust the date as the city now better understands how long ratification of the deal by unionized workers will take.
Any collective agreement must be ratified by those it affects before it can be finalized. Unions take a vote of workers to ensure each agreement meets with their approval.
Thistle said the city cannot hold a special meeting to authorize the agreement until it is ratified, and now expects that meeting to be required on Wednesday rather than Tuesday.
A confirmed date and time for the rescheduled meeting is expected later on Monday.
The timing of that meeting is important as it affects the strike and lockout that has involved Yellowknife’s municipal workers since February 8.
The sooner a deal is ratified by workers and then authorized by the city, the sooner that work stoppage will end. Many employees will be coming back to weeks of outstanding work, meaning some services are almost certain to be further impacted as staff try to get on top of the backlog.
Information regarding ratification votes has not been made public.
Asked about the votes, a Public Service Alliance of Canada spokesperson replying on behalf of union leaders wrote: “Pending information regarding PSAC/UNW Local 345 will be available soon. We, UNW and PSAC, continue our focus on our members, and will provide a statement in due time.”