The territory’s teachers signed a four-year collective agreement March 1 that will see wage increases and Inuktut-related changes to further the cause of bilingual education.

Minister of Education David Joanasie, Nunavut Teachers’ Association president John Fanjoy and Minister responsible for the Public Service Act David Akeeagok signed a four-year collective agreement March 1 that will see wage increases for the territory’s educators and increased support for bilingual education.
photo courtesy Dept. of Finance

“We thank our teachers for supporting this agreement and for their commitment to provide our students with excellent learning opportunities and guidance in our classrooms,” stated Nunavut Teachers’ Association (NTA) president John Fanjoy.

“The NTA is looking forward to working with the Government of Nunavut during the next four years in implementing programs, services, and curriculum that will lead to a bilingual education system delivered by qualified teachers.”

The new agreement continues to June 30, 2021.

The wage increases are one per cent in the first year, one per cent in the second year, two per cent in the third year and two per cent in the final year, as of July 1 for each year. For those employed as of the Jan. 31 ratification, increases are retroactive to July 2017.

Other changes include aligning teacher professional development activities with Inuit employment and Inuktut-language development, and opportunities for long-term career progression for new and experienced teachers. As well, a restructured salary grid is intended to support Inuit culture and language specialists, according to the release. Language specialists get bumped up to a Level 1 salary, and that level’s Inuktut Allowance is raised from $1,200 to $1,500, while principals and vice-principals will also see increases to their allowances.

“This agreement provides the foundation to continue building a positive relationship between parties,” stated Education Minister David Joanasie.

“It highlights Inuit knowledge and languages, as well as the importance of working together to ensure the success of students.”

Meanwhile, Finance Minister David Akeeagok, who is responsible for the Public Service Act, noted education is the cornerstone of Nunavut’s future.

“And vitally important to the development of our territory,” he said.

“I am extremely pleased at the co-operation shown by both parties during the bargaining process, which allowed for a productive and positive outcome that will benefit not only our educators, but our children and communities as well.”

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