Re: NDP coddling civil servants while the private sector bleeds

Lorne Gunter’s Sept. 10 piece in the Sun targeting employees in the Alberta Public Service and demanding job losses is incredibly irresponsible. What? Throw more people out of work, derailing Alberta’s recovery from one of the worst economic recessions in generations?

And while Gunter is busy trying to stir up the rage machine by pitting Albertans against each other, the fact is the number of unionized workers in the Alberta Public Service has remained flat for years, contrary to his claims of massive staff increases. When there is nowhere to cut, I guess Gunter wants to saw through the bone.

The employment security provisions AUPE negotiated are in place to protect public services from the same kind of decimation witnessed during the Klein era, when unionized Alberta Public Service workers were cut from 32,000 to around 20,000. Today there are about 22,500 of them, even though the population has increased by 1.7 million.

So while some want to treat these working Albertans as nothing more than a line item on a budget, I’d like to take this opportunity to again thank them for the dedication and service they show to this province and the people in it, every single day.

Guy Smith,
President, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees