The Yukon government has cancelled a tender for surveying in Whitehorse after the Yukon Employees Union filed a grievance over layoffs of surveying engineers.

The union accuses the government of laying off its own seasonal workers and offering the work to private industry. 

Steve Geick, president of the Yukon Employees Union, says the team of four surveying engineers were initially told there was no work to be done.

Steve Geick

Steve Geick, president of the Yukon Employees Union, says the team of four surveying engineers laid off by the Yukon government were initially told there was no work to be done. (CBC)

"We were assured that there was no work coming up this year and if there's no work, then we understand that." he said. 

"If there is absolutely no work, you're not going to pay someone to stand around and do nothing. We're told that is the case and then within a month a tender appears for work that these people are qualified to do, and there was no attempt to recall them."

The surveying work is in the new Whitehorse development of Whistle Bend. 

On Monday spokesperson Ben Yu Schott of the Department of Community Services said the government has cancelled the tender.  

"We respect that the union has the duty to ensure the care and consideration of their members. We will be setting up a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible," he said. 

Some of the surveying engineers had been working with the Yukon government for more than 10 years.