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Yukon Hospital Corp. and union reach tentative agreement

The Yukon Hospital Corporation and some of its unionized employees have reached a tentative agreement.

The Yukon Employees Union (YEU), which represents more than 350 hospital workers in Whitehorse, Watson Lake and Dawson City, announced the tentative deal in a news release on Friday, but offered no details.

“What I can say is that the bargaining team is 100 per cent behind this deal. They think it’s a strong deal, and they’re looking forward to talking with membership and disclosing those details,” said YEU president Justin Lemphers.

“I suspect that the membership will feel a great deal of relief once they have this in front of them.”

The hospital workers — which include everybody from custodial and security staff, to lab technologists and licensed practical nurses — have been working without a contract since September 2022.

Talks broke down last year after several months of negotiation, with the union saying money was a sticking point.

Negotiations resumed this week with a conciliator, and the proposed deal comes in the wake of a strike vote by the unionized employees. The YEU said the workers voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of a strike mandate.

“This strength and unity of the membership helped move the negotiations forward, allowing the union and employer to reach this tentative agreement,” the union’s news release states. 

No dates have been set for employees to vote on the tentative deal. Lemphers says those will be scheduled “as soon as possible.”

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