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Avens union holds strike vote as sides enter mediation

Avens workers are seen in a photo published to Twitter by the Public Service Alliance of Canada
Avens workers are seen in a photo published to Twitter by the Public Service Alliance of Canada.

The union representing workers at Yellowknife seniors’ service provider Avens has held a strike vote ahead of mediation with management.

The Union of Northern Workers said conciliation – a less formal process than mediation, though they each involve third parties – had failed despite two days of talks earlier this month.

“The next step will be mediation, a meeting between employer and union with a mediator,” the UNW stated on its website. “Membership has directed a strike vote be taken prior to mediation.”

The union’s Friday update stated that strike vote meetings would take place on Saturday. As of late Sunday evening, a result of that strike vote had yet to be declared.

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The proposals on the table from Avens and the union have not been made public. Avens, which operates a range of seniors’ housing at a central Yellowknife campus alongside various support services, employs approximately 130 workers.

“The union, its bargaining unit and Avens reached a signed deal in October 2022,” Avens chief executive Daryl Dolynny told Cabin Radio by email earlier this month.

“Unfortunately, the union and its bargaining unit could not achieve a ratified vote position with its members. This has now transferred to a conciliatory process.”