The City’s objective remains to negotiate a collective agreement that is fair, respects the important role City employees play in Yellowknife, and is affordable for the city’s residents and businesses. 

The Union’s latest proposal to the City, as reported by the CBC, includes a 5% wage increase in 2022, a 3% wage increase in 2023; a $1000 signing bonus for all unionized staff, an $800 per year increase to vacation travel assistance, 2 additional days personal leave, additional medical travel leave, and the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation as a paid day off. The proposal also requests a commitment to discuss “Christmas shutdown” like the GNWT’s Donnie Days for the purposes of the next round of bargaining.

The City of Yellowknife has already shown its commitment to including September 30, the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, in its final agreement by providing it as a paid day off to all City staff for the last two years. This day is of significant importance to our community and staff, and the City will continue to provide this as a statutory holiday. As such, it is not included in our costing.

The City has calculated the cost of the Union’s proposal and it totals an additional $1,646,345 on top of what the City has already budgeted for in 2023. This is equivalent to an additional 4.79% property tax increase.

The City is legally required to have a balanced budget every year. That means expenses have to equal revenues. Spending more means the City either needs to increase revenues by raising property taxes and fees, or cutting programs and services. Unlike other governments that can run deficit budgets (such as the GNWT), the City cannot add additional costs for wages & benefits in our overall expenditures without an impact.

The City looks forward to returning to the bargaining table on Monday, February 13, and have the opportunity to present its latest proposal.