Three candidates are vying for the position of Somba K’e regional vice president for the Union of Northern Workers.
Chris Schott, who is currently the president of Local 28, told Cabin Radio his top three objectives, if elected as regional vice president, are to “engage members, inform members, and lower union dues.”
“Covid’s been really tough on the locals — just getting meetings to take place and stuff,” he said. “I think I can do some good work on the executive to kind-of spruce those up and get some members engaged again.”
Randy Thompson, who is currently chief shop steward for Local 01, said “bargaining for members” is a key concern he hopes to address if elected later this month.
“The cost of living took a huge increase in 2021,” Thompson said.
“We need a strong representation for our members, more than ever. We need to make sure our union’s in a strong political and financial position to face bargaining.”
Annetta Beaulieu declined to comment on her candidacy.
To be eligible to run for the position, candidates must be a current union member in good standing, be located in the Somba K’e region, and have been active within the union at least one full continuous year as a local officer, according to the union’s website.
The duties of a regional vice president include attending all executive meetings, being responsible for the administration of union affairs in their region, and representing the interests of the locals within their region.
The union’s Somba K’e region includes eight locals. Members consist of NWT government employees in several departments, the NWT Power Corporation in Yellowknife and Fort Smith, the Workers Safety and Compensation Commission, Aurora College’s Yellowknife campus, the Business Development and Investment Corporation, and non-teachers with Yellowknife Catholic Schools and Commission scolaire francophone des Territoires du Nord-Ouest.
Mail-in ballots must be returned to union headquarters by 3pm on February 18.