City workers strike averted in Whitehorse after 11th-hour deal reached

The City of Whitehorse's unionized workers will not be heading to the picket lines this morning. Bargaining teams reached a tentative deal after negotiating through the evening and into the early morning hours.

Deal averts strike for Whitehorse public sector employees just hours before it was scheduled to begin

Whitehorse City Hall. Unionized workers for the City of Whitehorse averted a strike Monday by mere hours, after negotiating teams were able to reach a tentative deal following an all-night bargaining session. (Cheryl Kawaja/CBC)

The City of Whitehorse's unionized workers will not be heading to the picket lines this morning. Bargaining teams reached a tentative deal after negotiating through the evening and into the early morning hours.

Last week, the approximately 300 unionized workers represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) gave notice that they would strike beginning at 8 a.m. Monday if a deal was not reached over the weekend. According to a news release, the teams were able to come to a deal at approximately 5:30 a.m. Monday morning.

The workers would have joined 34 unionized transit workers in labour action, who have been on a work-to-rule campaign since March. According to the city's website, all transit and city services will run as usual on Monday. 

"In a contentious round of bargaining spanning six months, the teams met face to face a handful of times, but made little progress," the union's release reads. "In mediation over the weekend, enough progress was made to warrant a last ditch push into the early hours of Monday morning."

Yukon Employees' Union President Steve Geick said in the release that he was satisfied that negotiations had concluded, and that "everyone is looking forward to getting back to work."

A City of Whitehorse communications official said that details of the deal were not immediately available, but that it is pending ratification. 

CBC was advised union officials will be available to meet with the media Monday afternoon.

"The entire team has been up all night and right now, everyone needs some rest," a communications officer for the Yukon Employees' Union said in an email.