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Yukon government and workers union ratify collective agreement

The Yukon government and Yukon Employees' Union have ratified a new collective agreement, which is in effect as of Monday.

The three-year agreement includes salary increases totalling 5.25% divvied up over 3 years

The ratification of a collective agreement between the Yukon government and its workers union was announced on Monday. (Paul Tukker/CBC)

The Yukon government and its workers union have ratified a new collective agreement, which is in effect as of Monday.

The agreement includes salary increases totalling 5.25 per cent over three years, including some retroactive pay, and increases in pay bands, weekend premiums, and shift premiums for hours worked between 4 p.m. and 8 a.m.

"We did get most of our priorities," which included maintaining severance allowances, said Yukon Employees' Union (YEU) president Steve Geick Monday afternoon in a phone interview from Whitehorse.

The agreement also allows "an employee, who experiences a work-related traumatic incident(s), to receive leave without loss of pay for the remainder of the scheduled work day," according to a territorial government press release.

Geick used the example of a conservation officer coming across a body mauled by a bear ⁠— "something that could potentially lead to PTSD," or other mental health problems. Before, that employee would have to use vacation time, sick leave, or leave without pay.

Steve Geick, president of the Yukon Employees' Union, described the negotiations as, generally, 'very respectful.' (Philippe Morin/CBC)

"To my knowledge, and what I have been told, it's the first language like that across the country," he said of the addition.

The employees covered by the agreement, about 4,100 in total, are represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada and the YEU.

Before Monday, the two parties were bound by the previous contract, which expired on Dec. 31, 2018.

Earlier in the year, veteran mediator Vince Ready was called in to assist, and a tentative agreement was reached in June.

Geick described the negotiations as, generally, "very respectful."

Members voted on the agreement last week.

As is a standard practice among other unions, Geick said the vote results will not be publicly released, aside from the fact that voting members voted in favour of the agreement.

The three-year agreement has a Dec. 31, 2021, expiration date.

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