Worker campaign to save services is successful; AUPE remains vigilant
After a campaign led by workers, the Alberta government has ruled out privatizing the Land Titles, Personal and Corporate registries.
“Our members have just been told by the employer that it will not be proceeding with its plan to sell off these important departments to private, for-profit operators,” says Kevin Barry, vice-president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) and chair of the union’s anti-privatization committee.
“The government now says that its original proposal to consider a 35-year concession agreement with the private sector was not the best approach ‘at this time’ and that it remained committed to modernizing services,” he adds.
“Privatizing never made sense,” says Barry. “These departments of Service Alberta were a money-maker for the government, earning $124 million in 2020, with revenue predicted to improve in the coming years. Over the span of a 35-year deal, that would have cost the government more than $4 billion in revenue and led to increased costs for Albertans who use the registries.”
The move would also have cost the jobs of 130 AUPE members. They led a campaign to stop privatization that included former conservative cabinet minister Doug Griffiths and representatives of industry who use the registries.
“This is good news for Albertans, who will continue to get quality services and good news for workers,” says Barry. “However, we will continue to watch for other moves to hand over vital services either in the registries or in other public services.”
AUPE VP Kevin Barry is available for interviews.
Please contact Terry Inigo-Jones, communications officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-831-4394.