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Latest News - April 2014

April 14, 2014
Non-union staff to get new four-year wage deal, Premier Hancock says
Source: Edmonton Journal
By: Mariam Ibrahim

Nearly 7,000 non-union government employees will be getting a new four-year wage deal that had been rejected by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees in late February, Premier Dave Hancock said Monday.

The deal includes a $1,550 lump-sum payoutpayout in the first two years, a $775 lump sum with a one-per-cent wage increase in the third year, and a two-per-cent increase in the fourth year, Hancock said.

The offeroffer was rejected by the AUPE on Feb. 26. The union says the deal would amount to a wage decrease because lump sum payments do not keep up with either the Alberta labour market or inflation rates. No formal negotiations have happened since the deal was rejected.

The deal will instead be imposed on 6,900 employees that are managers or are otherwise excluded from or have opted-out of union membership, Hancock said.

“We believe it’s a fair deal for our employees and a fair deal for the taxpayers of Alberta. We felt it was important to move ahead now with the managers, opted-out and excluded employees,” he said.

In the past, those employees have been given the same deal negotiated by AUPE, but legal wrangling over the province’s unpopular Bill 46 could lead to a drawn-out process.

“The union has taken a position that they’re prepared to wait and we don’t believe that’s fair to the rest of the staff,” Hancock said.

The AUPE has launched a Charter of Rights challenge against Bill 46, the Public Service Salary Restraint Act, which would have imposed a four-year-deal on the union and suspended its ability to take a contract dispute to binding arbitration. Earlier this year, an Edmonton Justice granted a rare injunction against the law. The province will appeal that ruling at the end of April.

Hancock said the deal given to non-union staff may be re-evaluated in the future if the AUPE secures a better deal for union employees.




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