UNW postpones convention by up to a year over Covid-19

Last modified: May 13, 2020 at 6:53am

The Union of Northern Workers (UNW) has called off its 2020 convention, scheduled for October, and says the event will happen in 2021 instead.

The postponement, which is related to Covid-19 public health restrictions on gatherings, has the effect of extending the terms of office for the union’s executive by a year.

However, as elections for regional vice-presidents have already started, the union said those results will stand. Successful candidates will take up their positions following the rescheduled 2021 convention.


A date for the 2021 event has yet to be announced.

The postponement, announced this week, follows the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) – of which the Union of Northern Workers is a part – making a similar move.

The PSAC national convention and regional conventions will be moved back by a year, meaning the next PSAC North convention will be in Whitehorse on May 28-30, 2021.

Terms of office for the PSAC executive have similarly been extended by a year.

At the moment, the union says annual meetings for its various locals in the NWT can continue as planned in October and November.


The union said those meetings were “subject to change dependent on any health and safety restrictions.”

The NWT’s pandemic recovery plan, revealed on Tuesday, states large indoor gatherings – with more than 50 attendees – like conventions won’t be able to take place until all restrictions are lifted, once a vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 is in place.

Indoor gatherings of up to 25 people are expected to be allowed from phase two of the recovery, in mid-to-late June. Up to 50 people would be allowed in phase three, once the predicted second wave of Covid-19 has been and gone in southern Canada – currently forecast to be late fall or winter.