North

Hay River health authority union members vote not to strike

If the Union of Northern Workers goes on strike Monday, unionized members of the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority will not be joining them. Details of the final vote count were not released.

Unionized members of the HRHSSA will not be joining other gov't workers on a potential picket line Monday

Unionized employees of the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority voted down strike action in the community. (Kirsten Murphy/CBC)

The union representing employees of the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority has announced it did not receive a strike mandate in a four-day voting process that started Jan. 29.

Kim Bailey, Union of Northern Workers director of finance and administration, confirmed Thursday that the strike vote results were tallied, and members did not vote in favour of strike action.

The Union of Northern Workers (UNW), which represents about 4,000 territorial government employees, has said it will strike as of Monday at 12:01 a.m. if mediation scheduled for this weekend does not result in a tentative agreement.

Local 21 in Hay River is made up of about 230 members. Bailey did not say how many people voted, or what the final count was in favour or against strike action.

In a statement, UNW president Todd Parsons said: "We have heard from the membership at HRHSSA on their collective wishes. I am confident the bargaining team will take this information and decide on the best way to move forward in concluding an agreement for the members at Hay River Health and Social Services."

The bargaining team representing unionized members of the Hay River Health and Social Services was relieved of its duties Jan. 17, which postponed an earlier strike vote.

According to a Local 21 communique, employees have been without a collective agreement for more than two years.

The current collective agreement expired March 31, 2016.

With files from Steve Silva

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