AUPE began as the Civil Service Association of Alberta in 1919. It was incorporated under the Alberta Societies Act by 400 founding members, and remained the voice of government employees in Alberta for almost half a century.
In 1968, the Civil Service Association of Alberta Act severely restricted the CSA in its structure and its ability to act on behalf of its members. After eight years of lobbying by members, this act was repealed in 1976 and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees was immediately formed as a successor organization. AUPE took over all rights, responsibilities and assets of the CSA.
One year later, a historic convention took place and the restrictions imposed by the previous legislation were finally removed. A new constitution was approved that established AUPE as an autonomous, unincorporated union.