The NWT Power Corporation (NTPC) and Union of Northern Workers have agreed in principle a new collective bargaining agreement.
The announcement heads off the threat of a strike, which had been anticipated to begin on Monday if no deal had been reached.
The union said the agreement would give NTPC’s unionized workers pay increases worth 8.9 percent over a six-year duration, calling that “a fair deal for the membership.”
As the last collective agreement expired in late 2014, the union’s statement suggests the new agreement could last until the start of 2021. It’s not clear how the deal’s provisions will be backdated.
Also included are improved parental leave arrangements, more supports for mental health, and improvements to job security related to the potential for contract work to be moved in-house, the union said in a message to members.
Saturday was the second of two days of last-ditch mediation between the parties before that strike action had been due to start.
More than 160 workers were to walk off the job, the union had warned.
“After a lengthy day of mediation convened by mediator Mort Mitchnick, the NTPC and UNW have reached a tentative agreement,” stated a power corporation news release at noon on Saturday.
“The parties both thank Mr Mitchnik for his efforts,” the statement continued. “This tentative agreement is subject to final ratification by the parties.”
A strike had also been threatened in February but was called off in the aftermath of a separate deal being reached with the territorial government, governing another collective agreement for 4,000 GNWT staff.
The territorial government holds ultimate control over the power corporation.
A new president and chief executive, Noel Voykin, began work at the power corporation on Monday.