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GNWT and UNW say they have ‘tentative’ bargaining deal


The NWT government and Union of Northern Workers say they have “reached a tentative agreement” on a new collective bargaining agreement affecting around 5,000 workers.

In a remarkable contrast to the last set of negotiations – which dragged on for more than three years and culminated in the union coming within hours of strike action – the latest tentative agreement has been reached within three months of negotiations starting on March 9.

The agreement itself expired at the end of March. Its terms remain in force until a nw agreement is ratified.

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The last agreement took more than 1,000 days to negotiate and, even then, had to be reached with the help of a mediator. Those negotiations took place with a different government, led by then-premier Bob McLeod. Todd Parsons has remained leader of the union throughout.

In a joint statement on Monday, the union and GNWT wrote: “Both parties are pleased with the progress since negotiations started on March 9, 2021, and are recommending ratification of the agreement to their membership and the Financial Management Board.

“Details of the tentative agreement will not be publicly released until the ratification process is completed.”

The agreement covers pay and working conditions for many, though not all, territorial government staff.

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