Nunavut power workers vote yes to new wage deal
QEC employees get effective 4.5 per cent wage hike on ratification date
In a vote held this past May, unionized workers at the Qulliq Energy Corp. said yes to a new wage-benefit deal that gives them pay hikes of 2.5 per cent, 2 per cent and 2 per cent in each year of the three years covered by the agreement.
This past December, QEC workers voted 89 per cent in favour of a strike, but reached a tentative deal this past spring with the help of a mediator. In the ratification ballot, members voted 91.8 per cent in favour of accepting the new agreement.
“It took a strong strike vote by our members to convince the corporation that they were not prepared to accept all of the concessions QEC proposed,” Doug Workman, the president of the Nunavut Employees Union, said in a news release.
The agreement is retroactive to 2011. That means that, coupled with a signing bonus of $1,100, QEC employees get an effective wage increase of 4.5 per cent on the date of ratification.
The new collective agreement also provides for increases in shift premiums, clothing and boot allowances and a guaranteed 5 per cent pay hike when employees perform acting duties.
The deal replaces an old collective agreement that expired in December 2010. The new agreement expires December 13, 2013.
“The GN appreciates the hard work that the bargaining teams did in order to come to an acceptable agreement for the employees, the employer and the union. We look forward to continuing our relationship with NEU,” Monica Ell, the Government of Nunavut’s human resources minister, said in a news release.
About 140 QEC workers are represented by the NEU, which is a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada.