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The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees has launched its lawsuit against the Redford government over Bill 46.

In a statement of claim, filed today in the Court of Queen’s Bench, AUPE asks the court to declare that the Public Service Salary Restraint Act is invalid because it violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The lawsuit also asks the court to order that compulsory arbitration between AUPE and the government resume and that AUPE be awarded unspecified damages.

“It is our firm belief that this law is unjust, unwarranted and a violation of our members’ basic rights,” said AUPE President Guy Smith.

Bill 46, which came into effect on Wednesday, was rammed through the Legislature with no public consultation and almost no debate.

In 1977, Premier Peter Lougheed took away Government of Alberta employees’ right to strike. In an effort to maintain a degree of fairness, Lougheed gave them the right to binding arbitration in contract disputes. Bill 46 eliminates that right and legislates a four-year contract on 22,000 front-line workers.

All three Opposition parties have decried the Redford Tories’ heavy-handed, undemocratic tactics, while unions across the province have voiced their outrage over Bills 46 and 45, which imposes draconian, crippling penalties on any union or individual involved in an “illegal strike or strike threat.”

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For more information, contact:

Guy Smith, AUPE President: (780) 265-2294
Andrew Hanon, AUPE communications: (780) 932-7644

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