Nunavut government workers vote to strike

2 parties plan to meet with mediator in early 2012

Government workers in Nunavut have voted 85 per cent in favour of striking.

The members of the Nunavut Employees Union (NEU), a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, have been without a contract since September 2010.

"The failure of the government to move on any of our issues and the slow pace of the bargaining process were determining factors in our members' decision to give their negotiating team a strong strike mandate," said NEU President Doug Workman. “We may be forced to act if the government won't take our negotiations seriously."

The main demands by the union are over wages, the northern allowance, vacation leave and health-care-related issues. Government demands related to casual and term workers, and various conditions of employment are also still on the table.

The strike vote is also a clear rejection of the employer's offer of a four-year agreement with no wage increase in the first year and one per cent in each of the following three years.

The Government of Nunavut has not commented on the vote.

The two parties haven’t met since August 2011, but will meet together with a mediator between Feb. 19 and Feb. 21, 2012.

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