Top GNWT Menu

1217 - Northern Allowance

Search Human Resource Manual



  1. The Government pays a northern allowance to offset community differences in cost of living and travel.



  1. These guidelines and procedures apply to all employees except those employed by the Northwest Territories (NWT) Power Corporation.



  1. A northern allowance is paid to every employee, based upon the community in which they are employed. Employees do not have to apply for this allowance.
  2. The northern allowance is paid biweekly.
  3. The allowance is not paid for periods of overtime or periods of leave without pay.
  4. Northern allowances rates are established on a yearly basis following a methodology agreed to by the Unions and Employer. The methodology is updated with information available on specific dates of each year and may result in changes in the rates from one year to the next as follows:
    1. the Union of Northern Workers (UNW) methodology is updated with information available on February 1 for northern allowances effective April 1; and
    2. the Northwest Territories Teacher’s Association (NWTTA) methodology is updated with information available on June 1 for northern allowances effective September 1.
  5. Information that updates the methodology for the northern allowance include:
    1. negotiated increases to the base amount during collective bargaining;
    2. return airfare rate to Edmonton from the applicable community;
    3. GNWT kilometre rates for duty travel
    4. road mileage/accessibility;
    5. survey of household spending (basket of goods). The basket of goods includes food purchased from stores, household operation, household furnishing/equipment, the operation of automobiles/trucks, clothing/footwear, personal care and recreation; and
    6. living cost differentials.

UNW, Excluded and Senior Management Employees

  1. UNW, excluded and senior management northern allowance rates are effective from April 1 to March 31.
  2. The allowance for casual, relief, part-time and seasonal employees will be pro-rated to an hourly rate by dividing the annual rate by the standard yearly hours (1950 or 2080).


  1. NWTTA northern allowance rates are effective from September 1 to August 31.
  2. Northern allowance is calculated on the basis of a teacher working 195 days over a ten-month period.
  3. Northern allowance for part-time teachers, substitute teachers and teachers who do not work a complete academic year will be pro-rated on the number of sessional days the employees work out of a full year of 195 days.



  1. When an employee is hired, the Department of Human Resources enters the applicable northern allowance into the Human Resources Information System.


Authorities and References

Main Collective Agreement with UNW
Article 41, Northern Allowance

NWTTA Collective Agreement
Article B1

Senior Managers’ Handbook
Northern Allowance

Excluded Employees’ Handbook
Northern Allowance