Bargaining Update: Local 020—ATB Financial
On July 8, 2021, an arbitration panel rejected a wage rollback for AUPE members at ATB Financial, and instead awarded workers a retroactive pay increase.
The employer had been seeking a retroactive wage rollback of two per cent, covering the period of Mach 30, 2019 to April 1 2020. The three-person panel of independent arbitrators decided, instead, to award AUPE members with a one per cent pay increase for that period.
This dispute was the result of a wage reopener for the final year of the previous collective agreement. Because the union and the employer could not come to an agreement in the wage reopener negotiations, the parties made the decision to send the matter to arbitration.
The employer attempted to argue that because Alberta was going through hard times, workers at ATB should share the burden by cutting their pay. Your union rejects that argument—we believe that the only way Alberta can recover is by putting workers first. ATB Financial, an organization with a multi-million dollar net surplus, did not even attempt to argue that it was unable to pay—just that it would be unfair to not cut wages.
We are happy to announce that the arbitrators rejected the employer’s logic, and did the right thing by awarding a pay increase.
We know that a significant amount of ATB workers have left their positions for a variety of reasons, including large-scale layoffs, in the time since then. We verified whether former workers who worked during that period remain eligible. Those workers are eligible.
If you were an AUPE member at ATB Financial between March 30, 2019 and now, but left your job for any reason, then you need to send an email to email@example.com to claim your retro pay. You need to make that claim within 60 days of the decision, which means that the deadline is September 6, 2021.
If you remain an AUPE member employed by ATB Financial, then you will receive the retro pay automatically.
This is just the latest in a series of arbitration decisions on wage rollbacks that public sector employers have lost over the past months. Despite the UCP’s unreasonable pressure on public sector workers to slash wages, independent experts repeatedly disagree with the rollbacks and instead award modest increases.
Workers at ATB Financial deserve this increase, and more. Your bargaining committee will continue working to ensure that our next collective agreement is fair. Please get in touch with your bargaining committee with any questions, concerns, or feedback.