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Government and union reach an agreement on nurses in communities

For release 15-352
Nov 17, 2015

WHITEHORSE—An amendment to the collective agreement between the Government of Yukon
and the Public Service Alliance of Canada supports an innovative approach to the hiring of parttime
rotational nurses to fill positions in Yukon’s community health centres.
Under this agreement, primary health care nurses will be given the option to work permanent,
part-time rotational positions that will include travel in and out of the territory.
“This amendment is a joint response, with the Public Service Alliance, that will address some of
the difficulties in permanently staffing nursing positions in rural communities,” Minister of Health
and Social Services Mike Nixon said. “Nurses fill an important role in Yukon’s rural communities,
and we are pleased to have worked with the Public Service Alliance to find innovative ways to
staff these positions that can be difficult to fill.”
Yukon is competing for community nurses with other northern jurisdictions that use the part-time
rotational strategy to their advantage. Working on a part-time rotational basis improves work-life
balance, ensures continuity in providing health care to rural communities, and allows nurses to
work a similar arrangement as in other jurisdictions.
“This new agreement signals a significant step forward,” YEU president Steve Geick said. “We
hope to maintain a collaborative relationship with the Department of Health and Social Services,
the community nursing branch and the Minister of Health and Social Services as we work
toward our shared goal of a healthy Yukon for our nurses and residents alike.”
The agreement applies to primary health care nurses and primary health care nurses in charge.
It will be independently reviewed six months before the end of the new collective agreement to
assess its effectiveness on recruitment and retention of nurses.

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