YTA President Sue Ross told Stern on Wednesday that the government`s decision to publish job offers is a linchpin of practices put in place during the last hiring season after the implementation of the collective agreement. The agreement extends supplementary benefits to workers on maternity and parental leave throughout the calendar year and not just in the school year. The overall increase is slightly above 5.5 per cent, but after the agreement to end severance pay, the wage increase was increased by 6.7 per cent. That is what saves money by ending these severance pay with just over $1 million. Ross told Stern that she was surprised by the meeting, which she said was contrary to the collective agreement that states that workers represented by the YTA are entitled to re-employment without competition for a period of two years after their dismissal. However, the YTA`s new collective agreement, which members voted on January 14, contains a provision for the Yukon government to amend the Territory Education Labour Relations Act so that substitute teachers can be admitted to the YTA. The revised agreement contains a number of provisions. These include changes to maternity and parental leave, as well as the definition of the criteria for transforming temporary workers into indeterminate workers. Although she now has an apprenticeship contract, Lester stated that she still considered the provision of the new collective agreement to be positive. The YTA argues that this goes against its collective agreement, which promises a priority of working teachers in the system before the publication of openings.
In his affidavit, Ross wrote that the requirement to fire teachers to fill positions would deprive workers of the job security they are owed by the collective agreement, which may require teachers to leave the Yukon to seek employment. “I want to thank the bargaining teams for their professionalism and diligence in securing a fair and fiscally responsible collective agreement that meets the needs of Yukon educators,” said Richard Mostyn, Minister responsible for the CSP. “The new agreement is good news for Yukon families, students and educators,” YTA President Sue Harding said in a statement. The union says it is a violation of its collective agreement and risks damaging its reputation in an “irreparable” manner. Under the YTA`s current collective agreement with the government, laid-off members should be given priority for new positions up to two years after the loss of their jobs. Department of Education spokesman Kyle Rossignol also confirmed that an agreement had been reached. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement that helps our teachers and school staff ensure yukon learners have the skills and knowledge to lead happy and healthy lives.” The Yukon Teachers` Association bargaining committee convened its first meeting on December 6, 2017 to negotiate a new collective agreement. A year later, just before the hour, the YTA government and the Yukon government tentatively agreed to amend and renew the collective agreement.