Government of the NWT

Your elected bargaining team:

Melvin Larocque (Hay River), Josee Thibault (Yellowknife), Dawna O'Brien (Hay River), Marie Buchanan (Yellowknife)

Todd Parsons (UNW President), Gail Lem (PSAC Negotiator)


CLARIFICATION from mediator - Communique to Members re Casuals  (March 27)

Here is the full document:   Mediator's Binding Recommendations (March 25)

Here is the message to members and summary:  Communique to Members re Mediator's Recommendations (March 25)

THANK YOU so much to the members who supported and encouraged the bargaining team during this long and emotional process.  Onward!


Message to Members - March 14, 2019

Please click Message to Members to read details. 

MEDIATION NEWS!  February 10, 2019

Please see our very important Press Release and information for members.  The Strike has been called off!

February 2019

Mediation with GNWT & UNW - UNW's opening mediation proposal - February 8, 2019

Continuation of Benefits Request

STRIKE NOTICE SERVED!  Press Release - February 5, 2019

GNWT/NTPC - in the event of strike info

Binding Arbitration information - February 7, 2019

January 2019

Communique To Members - 31 Jan 19

Emergency Employee Protocol General Issue - 28 Jan 19

The GNWT has sent a new "Q&A" document to employees, and it is pretty offensive.  

UNW Communique to Memebrs - January 24, 2019

News Release - GNWT Refuses Union Offer of Binding Arbitration - January 22, 2019

UNW Communique to Members - January 21, 2019


November 2018

Media Statement- Mediator Report November 15, 2018

Potential Strike Q & A (updated Nov 2018)

Essential Services Q & A

Essential Services Communique to Members (Nov. 28, 2018)

Essential Services Signed Agreements (Nov 28, 2018)


October 2018

Communique to Members October 29, 2018

Communique to Members October 27, 2018

Major Outstanding Issues and Proposals

Letter to MLAs

Contact List MLAs

October 19 - The UNW is very hopeful that mediation next week will result in a fair deal.  The bargaining team is committed to participating wholeheartedly with that goal in mind.  Please be sure to read the Full Message to Members re Upcoming Mediation 

However, we also need to be prepared for any outcome, just as the Employer has been doing.

Strike Captains Wanted


June 2018

Communique to Members regarding Mediation

June 15, 2018 News Release re Mediation

April 2018

See our Communique to Members regarding STRIKE VOTE RESULTS

Message from UNW President to UNW members regarding strike vote results

February/March 2018


Major Outstanding Issues

Strike Vote Meeting Dates and Locations

Strike Vote Meeting Q&A

Strike/Job Action - General Information - we are not yet in a strike position.  But we know you have questions.  Here is some general information.

Members who live in small communities where no meeting is scheduled will be mailed information about voting.  Packages were mailed February 12th.

MAKE SURE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION IS UP TO DATE!  Contact UNW HQ to check your mailing address, contact numbers, and email address

OUT OF TOWN during your community's scheduled strike vote meetings?  YES you can still vote! Contact UNW HQ or your RVP for more information on how you can still cast your ballot.


Jin the UNW Facebook group to talk about the issues and get updates. This is a closed group for signed UNW members to come together to talk about union matters, without the prying eyes of employers, press, and "trolls".  Of course nothing on the internet is truly confidential or private, so we are careful nonetheless.

Please continue to watch the website for updates.

Other Information of Interest

Ratification and Strike Votes (PSAC info)

PSAC Constitution

Labour Views column by Todd Parsons regarding cost of living March 14, 2018

Member's Statement in the Legislative Assembly, March 9, 2018 by Kevin O'Reilly re: UNW negotiations

January 30-31, 2018

See our  COMMUNIQUE TO MEMBERS for an update.

Your bargaining team returned to the table on January 30, 2018 with the employer.

Here is the GNWTs counter proposal (to our Sept proposal) GNWT Proposal presented on January 30.


October 6, 2017

Are MLAs' salaries relevant to UNW collective bargaining?  YES!

Read our open letter to the MLAs, which is in the Oct. 6 Yellowknifer and Oct. 9 News North, as a full page ad.

Also, check out CBC's analysis story, which includes what the MLAs are paid, and a comment from the UNW President.


September 27, 2017

See our COMMUNIQUE TO MEMBERS for an update on Sept 2017 bargaining.

September 12-13, 2017

Your bargaining team returned to the negotiating table on September 12th.  

Here is the proposal document from the GNWT, followed by the counter-proposal from the UNW team. Both documents were presented as "packages".

     GNWT Sept 12 proposal document

     UNW Sept 12 counter-proposal  (with date typo corrected)

On the second afternoon of bargaining, the GNWT countered with the following document:

     GNWT Sept 13 counter-proposal

Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, the UNW was unable to present our counter-proposal to the GNWT.  This will be happening within the next few days, and then our counter-proposal will be posted.  Stay tuned, and thanks for your patience!

And here it is!

      UNW Sept 27 counter-proposal

After reviewing our counter proposal, the Union and the Employer have agreed to return to the table during the week of January 29, 2018.



September 7, 2017

Information documents that may be of interest to members:

     CPI comparison spreadsheet - increases in cost of living compared to collective agreement increases

     Other Recent CA Increases - a list of other bargaining unit increases in a similar timeframe.

Just a reminder, we return to the bargaining table on September 12-13, 2017 in Yellowknife.


August 21, 2017 

President Todd Parsons recently wrote a Labour Views column in the August 16 issue of Yellowknifer about how the Collective Bargaining process works.

Please click here to read the column

August 15, 2017 

The Union of Northern Workers and the Government of the Northwest Territories will be resuming collective agreement negotiations on September 12 and 13, 2017.

August 3, 2017

GNWT & NTPC Bargaining Update Meetings 

The UNW will be having joint GNWT & NTPC bargaining update meetings over the next month in the following communities:

Yellowknife       Tues. August 29 - noon - UNW North Star Building, Training Rooms 2 & 3
                           Tues. August 29 - 5:30 p.m. - UNW North Star Building, Training Rooms 2 & 3
                           Wed. August 30 - noon - UNW North Star Building, Training Rooms 2 & 3
                           YELLOWKNIFE POSTER 

Fort Simpson    Thurs. August 31 - 5:30 p.m. - Nahanni Inn - Meeting room 
                          FORT SIMPSON POSTER

Fort Smith          Wed. September 6 - 7:30 p.m. - Pelican Rapids Inn - Meeting room          
FORT SMITH POSTER             

July 7, 2017

GNWT & NTPC Bargaining – member update meetings

The UNW will be having joint GNWT & NTPC bargaining member update meetings in various communities in the coming weeks.  Please keep an eye on the Events Calendar for dates, times & locations!

See the attached poster for more details on the Yellowknife meetings in July 

Yellowknife         Wed. July 12 – noon - UNW North Star Building, Training Room 2 

                            Wed, July 12 – 5:30 pm –  UNW North Star Building, Training Room 2 

                            Thu, July 13 – noon - UNW North Star Building, Training Room 2 

Behcho K’o          Mon. July 17 at noon - Nishi Khon Bldg, Tli Cho Community Serv, Large Boardroom

                            BEHCHOK'O POSTER

Hay River             Mon. July 24 at 7pm - Legion

                            HAY RIVER POSTER

Norman Wells      Mon. August 14, Heritage Hotel meeting room at 7 p.m.

                            NORMAN WELLS POSTER

Inuvik                  Tue. August 15, Mackenzie Hotel Meeting Room (main floor) at 7 p.m.

                            INUVIK POSTER

Information on Understanding the Northern Allowance 

Here is a document we hope will help answer some of the basic questions about the Northern Allowance.

Please see Understanding the Northern Allowance

June 30, 2017

Please see the attached message to members from the UNW Bargaining Team.

2017.06.30 Bargaining Communique

Continue to stay tuned for update membership meetings to be held in various communities in the coming weeks.

March 8 - 10, 2017

During the March 8 -10, 2017 bargaining session, the parties worked on a number of areas of common interest and plan to meet again to resume negotiations in the near future.  

The UNW and the GNWT have agreed there will be no public comment at this time.

February 2017

In response to the GNWT Finance Minister's budget address, please see UNW information below:

     Issues and Updates - GNWT Budget 2017-18 - FIGHT AUSTERITY!

     2017. 02.02 UNW press release

     2017.02.03 Letter to MLAs

January 5, 2017

The Union of Northern Workers and the Government of the Northwest Territories will be resuming collective agreement negotiations on March 8, 9, and 10.  

December 19, 2016

Look for our ad in the News North and Yellowknifer over the next couple of weeks - A Worker's Wish List.  Feel free to print and post on union bulletin boards.

"What Members Are Saying, What Members Want to Know" 

The Union of Northern Workers recently issued mail-out feedback forms to all members in hopes of receiving some input in the bargaining process with the GNWT. 

We have compiled the information gathered in a document called What Members Are Saying, What Members Want to Know

While we initially had a deadline of Nov. 30, the bargaining team welcomes feedback from members at all times. 

December 7 and December 9, 2016

We know you are busy hard working people.  You may not have time to attend a long union meeting.  That’s why we are having a couple quick bargaining update meetings.  Wed. Dec. 7 at 5:30 pm or Fri. Dec. 9 at Noon.  Food and beverages will be provided for those who RSVP in advance.  

For more information, please see our GNWT Bargaining Update poster.

Please share with colleagues, and feel free to print and post the poster.

November 1, 2016

As you know, the UNW has worked hard to get a mail-out to the membership to hear back from you as we proceed with future bargaining sessions. We are asking you read the Labour Views column (either by clicking the pdf document below or going to our News Page) and provide us with your thoughts. Your participation is important.

October 14, 2016 

The Union of Northern Workers has sent a mail out to all GNWT members asking for feedback for the bargaining team. 
Please read the letter carefully and respond by Nov. 30, 2016 at 5 p.m. Your input is critical! 

Mail-out (PDF)

Sept. 30, 2016

The Union of Northern Workers recently updated its economic proposals for the purposes of collective bargaining with the GNWT. Please read the proposal to learn full details. 

Please also see the Bargaining Communique released by UNW President Todd Parsons, today. 

The Employer's proposal is also available online.

Aug. 16, 2016

The Union of Northern Workers and the Government of the Northwest Territories will be resuming collective agreement negotiations from Sept. 26 to 29.  

May 10 - 12, 2016

Bargaining resumed this week.  Three days of negotiations ended on a disappointing note, with little productive discussion at the bargaining table.  Please click on the link below for our communique to members:

          2016.05.12 Communique to Members

The following is a comprehensive counter proposal package that your Bargaining Team provided to the Employer on May 11th:

          2016.05.11 UNW Comprehensive Response to GNWT

The Employer's two counter proposals, from May 10th and May 12th, are linked on their website, and copies are here:

         2016.05.10 GNWT response to UNW

         2016.05.12 GNWT response to UNW

April 1, 2016

The UNW bargaining team met with the GNWT's negotiating committee for three days this week.  Click on the link below for our communique to members.  

       2016.04.01 Communique to Members

The following are the proposal documents which were provided to the Employer during bargaining this week.

       March 29 - Appendix A9 College Educators -  proposed changes ( including A9.04(d)  )

       March 30 - MOU Mental Health UNW counter proposal

       March 31 - UNW discussion proposal 10 Principles Around Workforce Reduction

The GNWT's follow up and counter proposals from this week can be viewed on their website at:

January 27, 2016

Bargaining resumed on January 25th.   On January 26th, the UNW bargaining team made a counter proposal to the GNWT, with amendments to Articles 47 and 48 as a package.  The counter on the GNWT's Article 47 proposal was given verbally, and the UNW stated that if the GNWT revised the long term leave absence agreement that they require employees to sign so that it no longer violated the Collective Agreement, the UNW could then agree to the cost recovery language the GNWT proposed.  (Contigent on agreement to the UNW's counter proposal on Article 48.)

The UNW's counter proposal to Article 48 is attached here:

   UNW Counter Proposal Article 48

On January 27th, the UNW presented our position in response to the GNWT's proposal regarding Mental Health.  The UNW proposal is attached here:

   UNW Proposal on Mental Health

The UNW's Counter Proposal MOU from January 28th on e-Performance is attached here:

   MOU e-Performance

To read the GNWT's full counter proposals, click the link below to be redirected to their website documents:

January 15, 2016

Bargaining with the GNWT commenced yesterday with the exchange of opening proposal packages.  Please click on the links below to read either of these documents:
Discussions will continue January 25 – 29.

January 2016--Bargaining Commences

The UNW and the GNWT will exchange proposals January 14-15.  We will provide updates to our members as they become available.  
Your bargaining team is:  Todd Parsons, Rashmi Patel, Melvin Larocque, Jason Card, Michael Arbuckle, Marie Buchanan, Chris Potyok, and Gail Lem (PSAC Negotiator)

July 21- July 22, 2015—GNWT Contract Bargaining Conference
A conference to develop the UNW’s position for contract talks with the GNWT will take place in Yellowknife from 9 AM July 21 to 5 PM July 22.  Each Local that represents GNWT members is allowed 2 delegates to the bargaining conference.
The conference will review the proposals for bargaining positions received from locals and focus on priorities for contract talks.  A bargaining package containing the proposals will then be developed.For more information, please email Roxanna Baisi, Director of Membership Services.


February 16, 2015—Bargaining Input Call for GNWT Locals

Preparations are underway to begin bargaining with the GNWT.
The input call was sent by email on Feb. 16, 2015 to all Locals who have members in the GNWT.  Included in the email is information on the bargaining process, including:
  • the make up and roles of the Local Level Bargaining Committee
  • information on gathering proposals 
  • information on the Bargaining Conference
  • the make up and roles of the Bargaining Team
  • general information on the bargaining process
  • proposal forms
  • a sample poster for advertising meetings
  • some guidelines on writing proposals
  • a check list
  • documents to nominate delegates to the Bargaining Conference

If you are a Local President and you have not received this email (it was sent to your Local email address), please contact the UNW immediately!

Locals’ participation in bargaining must be coordinated with Regional Vice Presidents.  
All proposals must be submitted through the Local and cannot be sent directly to UNW HQ.
Each Local is allowed 2 delegates to the bargaining conference.  The conference is tentatively scheduled for June.  Dates will be announced.

The deadline for locals to submit bargaining proposals to the UNW is April 24, 2015.

Questions?  Contact your RVP, or email Roxanna Baisi, Director of Membership Services