PSAC North Health & Safety Rally Friday June 7

Rally and March to protect Health & Safety legislation for workers

PSAC will march in support of strong worker protection and Health & Safety legislation. Join us 11:45 am Friday June 7th as we march from the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre to a rally in Shipyards Park at the site of the new Worker’s Memorial.

 

 

What’s Happening at the Bargaining Table?

bargaining team mugThis is a busy year for contract building, with many of our bargaining units at the table now. We have recently ratified the first ever Collective Agreements for Help & Hope for Families Society in Watson Lake, while Many Rivers Counselling & Support Services workers are voting this week on a tentative agreement reached in early May.

  • Members at Yukon College ratified their three year CA late in 2013. An Education Fund has been established to financially support members wishing to further their education. A joint classification committee has been established to review job descriptions for all levels of college staff.
  • Negotiations at the City of Dawson are well underway. The next bargaining meetings are scheduled for mid-June 2014.
  • Flight Attendants have been in negotiations with Air North for almost a year. The next set of bargaining dates are scheduled for the end of May. Some of the key issues for this group include scheduling and hours of work.
  •  Yukon Hospital Corporation bargaining input call has recently gone out for workers in Yukon’s hospitals. Members have been invited to submit their bargaining proposals and will be electing a bargaining team in early June. Their Collective Agreement expires August of this year.
  • Negotiations with the Yukon Energy Corporation began last year. While considerable progress has been made on a number of issues there are still some key items outstanding. The Union applied for mediation in early spring which did not resolve the differences between parties. The Union and Yukon Energy Corp. have agreed to proceed to arbitration.
  •  Many Rivers Counselling & Support Services voted on a tentative agreement May 15th.  The negotiations were respectful and built on a renewed spirit of respect following the 2012 strike.

If you are a member of YEU and would like to be kept informed about the bargaining process make sure to provide us with your email address (personal, not your address at work) so we can add you to our update list.

Auxiliary on Call; a Tough Gig

It sounds great;  work when you want & take time off when you need it – plenty of flexibility and the freedom to make work fit your life. It’s a great arrangement for some, but working as an Auxilliary-On-Call or AOC for the Yukon Government can be tough and unpredictable.
Over 700 men and women work in uncertain positions across all departments of YG. Their schedules and lives are governed by the telephone; they often don’t know if they’ll be on duty from one day to the next. With no way to predict work schedules, family life and sleep patterns are often disrupted. Many AOC’s work in justice and health care and the shifts can come at odds with a regular work rotation. It’s not uncommon to finish a night shift, sleep a few hours and be called in for a day shift the next morning, followed by a few hours’ sleep then another night shift.
When AOC’s are posted into longer term positions, they work alongside permanent YG employees, but don’t enjoy the benefits or advantages of regular employment. There is no sick leave for AOC’s, and vacation pay is added to each paycheque. That means the extra pay is usually absorbed into the costs of living, and time off work means living without a paycheque.
Medical and Dental coverage is very different; unlike regular employees, AOC’s are paid a flat sum twice a year based on hours worked as a contribution toward their extended health care costs. That means that while a regular employee can submit receipts for orthodontia, physio or glasses and receive reimbursement, an AOC must absorb those costs; the twice yearly payment is not a reimbursement. There’s a big difference at the pharmacy counter as well; the cost of prescriptions isn’t covered as it is for other YG employees.
For many AOC’s there’s the added challenge of always being the new kid on the block, learning the rhythm of new colleagues and new team dynamics each time you go to work.
AOC’s fill an important role in government workplaces, providing on-call relief when employees call in sick or must take unplanned leave. Though terms should be hired when there are longer leaves planned, AOC’s are more and more frequently being called on to backfill positions of many months’ duration. While the work and regular pay is welcomed, the inequities between AOC and regular employee benefits becomes more noticeable in these longer posts.
YEU is committed to making sure Auxiliary workers aren’t being misused in positions that should be filled by regular or term employees. LOU “S” in the new CA ensures the employer and union will meet every 6 months to monitor YG’s use of AOC’s. Where possible we want to encourage YG to hire more regular employees to fill the gaps AOC’s now fill.