EDMONTON – Guy Smith, President of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees responded today to errors and misleading statements in the recent report on public service salaries released by the Calgary School of Public Policy.

“Mr. Boessenkool and Mr. Eisen’s paper obscures more than it illuminates. They claim Government of Alberta wages have increased by 103 per cent and say the public sector has grown faster than the overall population. As far as our members in front-line Government jobs are concerned, both statements are false,” said Smith.

“Our members’ total employment in the provincial government stayed essentially flat from 2000 to 2010, at approximately 21,000 members, while the population increased by 24 per cent. Negotiated wages increased by 49 per cent, while Alberta Average Weekly Earnings grew by the same rate – 49 per cent,” Smith explained.

The Statistics Canada table (CANSIM 182-003) used by Eisen and Boessenkool shows that Government of Alberta employment was static over the 10-year period examined by the authors. The total number of employees in Dec. 2010 was 28,496 compared to 28,579 in Dec. 2000. The average number of employees in 2010 was 29,457 compared to 28,870 in 2000. The AUPE bargaining unit remained at approximately 21,000 members over the same period.

According to an Aug. 11, 2010 disclosure by the Government of Alberta, the average 2010 wage for AUPE-represented employees in government was $57,423, far below the $83,326.

“Despite being incredibly misleading and failing to make a case for a wage freeze or massive cuts to front-line services the paper raises valid questions about the ratio of managers to front-line staff, and the compensation of those managers. It’s a question we have raised in the past and will continue to raise,” said Smith.

“If the total wage bill for government employees increased by 103 per cent as the authors claim it’s time for the province to increase their transparency and release the salaries paid to the approximately 8,000 employees in management and other occupations excluded from the AUPE bargaining unit,” Smith concluded.


For interviews or more information contact:

Guy Smith, President, AUPE – 780-265-2294
Mark Wells, Senior Communications Advisor, AUPE – 780-930-3311