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UNW Collective Agreement

MOU – Safe Disclosure of Information


MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

BETWEEN

THE UNION OF NORTHERN WORKERS

AND

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES


SAFE DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION
 

The Employer is entrusted with the protection of the public interest. Everyone employed by the Employer is expected to adhere to high ethical standards that foster and maintain public confidence. The parties desire to create an environment where employees who in good faith believe a wrongdoing has occurred can bring that forward freely in a confidential and safe manner. The parties agree that employees should never have to fear reprisal when they come forward in good faith and raise concerns about wrongdoing.

As a result of discussions during negotiations for the Collective Agreement effective April 1, 2012, the parties have agreed to put into place interim provisions to provide protection for employees who disclose information in certain situations, and to provide employees with an independent mechanism to report situations where the employee, in good faith, believes wrongdoing is occurring.

These interim provisions will remain in place until legislation providing protection for employees covered by this Collective Agreement, who disclose information, is enacted by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

The parties agree that within 30 days of ratification of the Collective Agreement effective April 1, 2012, a Committee comprised of three representatives selected by each party will be formed.

This Committee shall, within 180 days following the date of ratification of the Collective Agreement effective April 1, 2012:

1.

Arrive at unanimous recommendations with respect to:
 

(a)

Providing employees with access to an independent mechanism for them to confidentially report situations where the employee in good faith believes that there has been a misuse of public funds, an illegal act, gross mismanagement or a substantial and specific danger to health and safety or to the environment;
 

(b)

Providing employees who in good faith make such a report, protection from reprisal by the Employer;
 

(c)

Ensuring that the interim provisions do not prevent an employee from accessing or fulfilling any obligations under any existing legislation, policy, process or collective agreement provisions which provide a mechanism to address employee concerns;
 

(d)

Ensuring that the interim provisions do not prevent an employee from fulfilling any obligations which may be required by the employee’s professional association;
 

(e)

Other provisions which the Committee considers appropriate.

2.

Report to the Joint Consultation Committee under Article 56 after each meeting.

3.

Provide its unanimous recommendations to the President of the Union of Northern Workers and the Deputy Minister of Human Resources.

The unanimous recommendations of the Committee shall be adopted by both parties not later than 270 days following the ratification of the Collective Agreement and shall form part of the Collective Agreement commencing April 1, 2012. These unanimous recommendations shall remain in place until legislation providing protection for employees covered by this Collective Agreement, who disclose information, is enacted by the Government of the Northwest Territories.

If unanimous recommendations of the Committee are not achieved within 180 days following the ratification of the Collective Agreement, then the parties agree that this issue will be referred to arbitrator Colin Taylor, or any other arbitrator mutually agreed upon by the parties, who shall make a binding decision as soon as possible, and such decision shall form part of this Collective Agreement which commences April 1, 2012.

Any decision made by the arbitrator shall deal with the same criteria as applied to the Committee, and shall be in place until legislation providing protection for employees covered by this Collective Agreement, who disclose information, is enacted by the Government of the Northwest Territories.