YELLOWKNIFE — The City of Yellowknife says talks with its unionized workers to settle a labour dispute ended Monday when the union “chose to end bargaining” at 6 p.m. and left the table without responding to its latest offer.
Talks between the city and the Union of Northern Workers were planned for Sunday but the union said they had to be postponed due to the mediator’s flights being delayed.
The city says in a news release that it added a one-time inflation adjustment and signing bonuses to its earlier offer of base wage increases of two per cent per year for 2022 and 2023.
The union, according to the city, had been seeking a five per cent raise in 2022 and three per cent in 2023, along with other perks that included an $800-per-year increase to vacation travel assistance.
Workers with the City of Yellowknife hit the picket lines and the city locked out employees early last Wednesday after mediation between the parties failed.
The Union of Northern Workers and Public Service Alliance of Canada said in a statement Tuesday that the city had refused to increase wages beyond two per cent.
“We tried our best to get a fair deal yesterday,” Local 345 president Reilly Hinchey said in a statement. “Hearing that the city is unwilling to move on wages, we did not think it would be fair to sit in a warm room knowing that it was all pointless.”
Hinchey said the bargaining team planned to join picketing unionized workers.
The city said in a statement Monday that it is committed to negotiating a collective agreement that is fair, respects the important role city employees play in Yellowknife and is affordable for residents and businesses.
“The City remains available and ready to resume bargaining.”
In its statement