After two years of ‘protracted and sometimes difficult’ bargaining, the Union of Northern Workers says it has reached a tentative agreement with the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority.

The agreement includes wage increases – 6.4 per cent – as well as leave for employees experiencing domestic violence and job security provisions. The agreement, which will last until March 31st, 2021, must be ratified before it is finalized.

In a communique to members, the bargaining team noted the following achievements:

• Wage increases of 6.4% before compounding over the life of the agreement
• Increase of $250 in the Northern Allowance
• Improvements to Layoff and Job Security language, including a commitment by the employer to seek reductions through attrition and voluntary separations before layoffs
• Updated Maternity and Parental Leave provisions to reflect improvements in legislation
• New articles providing for Compassionate Care Leave and additional leave for employees experiencing domestic violence

The union says ratification meetings will happen in the coming weeks – where further details of the agreements will be shared and members will have the chance to vote.