Mentorship Program--2015 

Click HERE for information on the mentorship program, including available dates in 2015.

Fort Smith Housing Authority - Strike Vote Meeting

Thursday, December 11, 7 - 9 pm     ~     Salt River First Nations Boardroom

Click HERE for a copy of the poster that you can print & post.


UNW Equity Members!

Check out the most recent updates from your Equity Vice President.  Meeting dates, new initiatives, and PRIZES!  

Next meeting date:  Dec. 17 at 6:30 pm @ PSAC Boardroom

Go to Equity Members page - click here.

Alternate Vice Presidents - Calls for Nominations

Calls for Nominations are being made to fill the positions of Alternate Regional Vice Presidents.

The calls for nominations are taking place in three stages:

Beaufort Delta-Sahtu, and Equity:

  Call for nominations opens Nov. 14, Closes Dec. 15

Deh Cho, Fort Smith, Hay River, Kimberlite:

   Call for nominations opens Nov. 22, Closes Dec. 29

North Great Slave, and Somba K'e:

   Call for nominations opens Nov. 28, Closes Jan. 5

All UNW members in good standing are eligible to run.  Candidates must show that they have given at least one continuous year of voluntary service as a UNW officer.  For example, Regional Vice President, Local President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Shop Steward, Health & Safety Officer, or other.  Candidates must submit this information at the same time they submit their nomination.

Nominators must also be UNW members in good standing, of the same region.

See the UNW By-Laws and Regulations governing election of Alternate Regional Vice Presidents.

Click for to download a copy of the Nomination Form.

Nominations must be mailed or faxed by the closing date to:

Elections Committee

Union of Northern Workers

Suite 200, 5112 - 52nd Street

Yellowknife, NWT   X1A 3Z5

Or Fax:  (867) 920-4448


$10,000 for Lynn Brooks Women's Shelter


UNW President Todd Parsons (left) and 1st Vice President Gayla Thunstrom (right) present a cheque for $10,000 to YWCA Yellowknife Executive Director Lyda Fuller.  The contribution to the new Lynn Brooks Safe Place for Women (formerly BETTY House) was raised at silent auction of the UNW Triennial Convention and with a matching donation from UNW funds.


UNW 16th Triennial Convention 2014

UNW Convention Elects Leaders, Builds Solidarity


Yellowknife, NT (October 20, 2014) – More than 60 delegates gathered in Yellowknife October 17 to 19 for the 16th Triennial Convention of the Union of Northern Workers under the conference theme, Building Solidarity Through Representation

Members elected Todd Parsons to his fifth term as President.  Gayla Thunstrom was elected 1st Vice President, Marie Buchanan was elected 2nd Vice President and Miriam Gordon was elected Equity Vice President.  Regional Vice Presidents elected were Alex Lambrecht—Somba K’e; Chris Potyok—North Great Slave; Lauraine Armstrong—Fort Smith; Roy Courtoreille—Hay River; Val Robertson—Beaufort Delta/Sahtu; Christina Holman—Deh Cho; Ivan Landry—Kimberlite. 

Delegates and member observers were joined by leaders including Public Service Alliance of Canada North (PSAC) Regional Executive Vice President Jack Bourassa, Northern Territories Federation of Labour President Mary Lou Cherwaty, Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington and Yellowknife Mayor Mark Heyck.

Barbara Byers, Secretary Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress, gave the keynote address to delegates on the theme “Building Union Power Through Representation”. Public Service Alliance of Canada National President Robyn Benson addressed delegates on the need to protect the gains of past struggles, protect public services, and defeat the Harper government. 

Delegates reviewed and approved the UNW’s three-year, $14 million budget, reviewed and passed amendments to by-laws, heard a report on construction of the UNW’s new offices and elected delegates to attend the PSAC National Convention.

Convention delegates attended the October 17 mass rally at the Legislative Assembly, calling for withdrawal of Bill 12, the Northern Employee Benefits Pension Plan Act, and calling for an end to privatization of services at Stanton Territorial Hospital.

A silent auction raised a $10,000 donation to the Lynn Brooks Safe Place for Women.  Donations of almost $10,000 were raised for an Ebola emergency contribution to Doctors Without Borders.

Ken Stewart, the departing Regional Vice President for Deh Cho, was honored for his more than 30 years of service to the UNW, and Roxanna Baisi, UNW Director of Membership Services, received her 30 Year Long Service Award.  

Check for regular updates, important deadline dates, and documents on the Convention 2014 page. 


Convention Bulletin Day One 

Convention Bulletin Day Two 

Convention Bulletin Day 3

Convention Closing Media Release


The Union of Northern Workers elected its new executive at the 16th UNW Triennial Convention October 17 to 19 in Yellowknife.  Members are (front row left to right) Regional Vice President (RVP) Deh Cho  Christina Holman; 1st Vice President Gayla Thunstrom, 2nd Vice President Marie Buchanan, RVP Lauraine Armstrong—Fort Smith, (back row l to r) RVP Alex Lambrecht—Somba K’e; RVP Ivan Landry—Kimberlite; RVP Chris Potyok—North Great Slave; President Todd Parsons; RVP Val Robertson—Beaufort Delta/Sahtu; Equity Vice President Miriam Gordon; RVP Roy Courtoreille—Hay River. 



STOP Bill 12!

The GNWT's Bill 12--the Northern Employee Benefits Services Pension Plan Act--threatens the pension benefits of more than 1,000 UNW members.  The Bill would allow benefits to be reduced retroactively, betraying the promise of benefit and income security workers signed on to under the current plan.

The Union of Northern Workers, Public Service Alliance of Canada, Northern Territories Federation of Labour and the NWT Teachers Association are fighting the Bill.  Submissions have been made to the Legislative Assembly committee reviewing the Bill, calling for it to be withdrawn. 

One clause in the bill would allow the GNWT to join the NEBS pension plan, leaving GNWT superannuation plan members vulnerable to cuts in benefits.

UNW President Todd Parsons has sent a letter to all MLAs calling for the Bill to be stopped.  

Come to a demonstration Friday October 17 at noon at the Legislative Assembly Building.  (Lunch is provided).

Call your MLA  and say Bill 12 must not be passed!

See the letter sent to all MLAs and submissions filed on the Bill

UNW Letter to All MLAs

PSAC Letter to All MLAs 

NTFL Letter to All MLAs 

PSAC Submission to Committee

NTFL Submission to Committee

NWTTA Submission to Committee  

Fight Privatization at Stanton Hospital

GNWT Labour Relations has told the UNW that Stanton’s 8 Facilities Management Workers face lay-off.  The lay-offs could come as early as June 2015. 

Stanton Territorial  Health  Authority plans to replace these workers with contracted-out services.

The lay-offs are the latest in a management campaign of privatization.   Food services and housekeeping have already been contracted out. 

The privatization hurts workers, hurt patients and hurts the hospital and GNWT

Take Action!  You Could Be Next!

Call Your MLA and  say “No Way” to more privatization

Ask your friends, neighbors and local businesses to call MLAs and say they oppose privatization

See a backgrounder and anti-privatization letter

 Read UNW President Todd Parsons Anti-Privatization Letter to the Editor 

Use the Draft Letter to Write to Your MLA

Petition! Occupational Health and Safety Regs

Every employee should have the right to feel safe when they go to work every day.

That’s why the Safety Advisory Committee helped draft better language to protect workers with new Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.

But the draft regulations have been collecting dust on the desks of both territorial ministers since 2011, and every year more workers die on the job because of it.

We insist the governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut approve the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations in their current state when both Legislative Assemblies resume in October 2014, as the Safety Advisory Committee recommended them.

Check out the proposed language at the WSCC Website


UNW and the Community

The Union of Northern Workers cares about our communities, and we are a working partner to support organizations who are making change.   Interested in what your union does in the community? Check out some of the links on our website!

Community Partnerships and Support

Social Justice



Groundbreaking and Blasting!

Blasting and construction on the site of the new Union of Northern Workers building began in July.  President Todd Parsons gives the big thumbs up.

July 2014 blasting

July 2014 construction

The UNW Full Executive were in town for their regular meeting during the week of May 19 and were thrilled to have their photo shot at the GROUNDBREAKING at the site on 53rd Street where the new UNW building will be constructed - s een here with representatives from Clark Builders and Stantec Architects.

may 2015



Cafe Justicia is back!  The UNW has a new shipment of this organic, fair trade plus, Guatemalan coffee, purchased from the PSAC Social Justice Fund.  We have: medium or dark roast, beans or ground (as supplies last).  $13/bag  cash only

If you would like to buy some, stop by the UNW building during office hours.