Following public critiques of Government of Yukon employees, including a Yukon NDP Convention speech where Yukon NDP Leader Kate White suggested that employees of the Government of Yukon are dragging their feet on implementing policy, the Yukon Liberal Government is calling on MLA White and her caucus to respect the work and workload of members of the territorial public service.
Yukon NDP convention attendees heard from their party’s leader that the government’s pathway for policy development and implementation “cut[s] corners we wouldn’t dream of. They push timelines to be absolute last minute, and they’re willing to negotiate with the well being of Yukoners.”
The Yukon Liberal Caucus believes in respecting the pressures that public servants face in enacting the many priorities set forward in the 2021 Yukon Liberal election platform, ministerial mandate letters, and the 2023 Confidence and Supply Agreement (CASA), of which White is a co-signatory.
“The Yukon Liberal Caucus knows that public servants work hard each and every day on behalf of Yukoners, and we feel they are doing excellent work advancing priorities set forward by elected officials,” said Premier Ranj Pillai.
“Whether it’s enacting large policies that affect all Yukoners or performing casework that is important to a small group of individuals, the tenacity, drive, and flexibility of public servants is what allows elected officials – regardless of their political bent – to get things done for the community,” added the Premier. “I’ve always believed that we can achieve great things through the coordinated efforts of a strong public service, vibrant private sector, and active organized labour, as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Pillai.
White’s criticisms occurred on the eve of the ratification vote for the new collective agreement between the Government of Yukon and Yukon Employees’ Union.
“We understand that many Government of Yukon employees have been working without a collective agreement since December 2021, due to a lengthy bargaining period compounded by YEU’s unavailability to participate in bargaining from July to December 2022. Our caucus is pleased that the majority of YEU employees voted to ratify a new collective agreement that reflects the hard work they do in service of Yukoners and we hope that leaders from the Yukon NDP and Yukon Party will join us in celebrating these achievements for workers,” stated Pillai.
The Yukon Liberal government has laid out an ambitious plan to advance reconciliation; grow the territory’s economy; maintain strong working relationships with federal, provincial and territorial counterparts, protect the environment, improve schools and students’ learning experience, repair and rebuild road and municipal infrastructure across the territory, rebuild a patient-centred health care system following years of inattention by the Yukon Party and a global pandemic, and create a Yukon where everyone has a place they can call home.