The Nunavut Employees Union and the Iqaluit Housing Association have reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, which could signal the end of a months-long labour dispute.

Union communications officer James Kaylor announced the breakthrough in a July 31 news release, noting that the details of the agreement are not yet being released publicly, and that no further information will be provided until it is ratified.

The tentative deal will be presented to striking housing employees, who are members of the Nunavut Employees Union (NEU), on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

The Iqaluit Housing Association (IHA) labour dispute began on on March 17, when 13 employees walked off the job with the aim of securing better wages and working conditions.

The parties met face-to-face in Ottawa on July 21, 124 days into the dispute, but no real progress was made. NEU representatives stated they were “profoundly disappointed” by the result of that meeting.

However, on July 28, it was revealed that six Nunavut Housing Corporation staff members were replacing directors on the IHA board in a bid to expedite a resolution to the labour dispute.

“The new board’s immediate focus will be to return to the bargaining table to achieve a settlement to the IHA labour dispute,” stated Lorne Kusugak, the minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation.

Later that day, NEU president Jason Rochon called the retooling of the board “a good sign.”

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