The memo also said a meeting of members would be held in the “coming weeks” to review the agreement. The territory said it would participate in the mediation on February 8 and 9, “for the sole purpose of reaching a new collective agreement.” Stewart also said the government will check how negotiations failed in order to improve their process in two years – the next time the collective agreement is debated. To obtain collective bargaining rights for the group, labour laws had to be written. With labor legislation, the NWT Public Service Association (NWTPSA) was formally established in November 1969 as a negotiator (union) for most GNWT employees. In May 1970, the NWTPSA became part of the PSAC. On May 15, a founding convention was held in Yellowknife and negotiations began on May 20. In his report, Ready says it would be an “understatement” to say the negotiations have been “difficult and sometimes controversial.” He says that during the mediation, both sides “worked diligently” to resolve their differences, but that discussions “mostly stalled on some issues of job security, the duration of the agreement and economic increases.” “Negotiating a new collective agreement can be difficult under ideal conditions. The current fiscal and economic environment presented additional challenges,” said Finance Minister Robert C. McLeod in the news release. “The process of collective bargaining between the GNWT and the UNW is set out in the Civil Service Act and negotiations have taken place and are taking place in this process,” a statement issued by the territorial government to Cabin Radio on Wednesday read.