Workers at APS awarded retroactive one percent pay increase
An independent arbitrator has awarded members at Alberta Pensions Services Corporation (APS) a one per cent pay increase, retroactive to January 1, 2020.
Your Collective Agreement had a “Wage Reopener” provision that allowed for arbitration if the employer and the union could not come to agreement on wages for the third year of your agreement. The parties failed to reach agreement and the matter was referred to arbitration last March.
At a joint hearing held in January (to decide the same matter for workers at Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis), your employer argued for a two percent wage rollback despite admitting that their position had nothing to do with their ability to pay.
The employers acknowledged they sought a wage cut in order to drive public sector wages down to levels seen in other provinces, while ignoring that private sector workers in Alberta also make significantly more than their counterparts across Canada.
AUPE relied on recent arbitration awards that rejected the employers’ demands for rollbacks and pushed for a one percent wage increase.
Your union argued the employer’s demands were outrageous given their financial strength, pointing to increases to executive compensation while AUPE members accepted zero percent increases. In the end, Arbitrator David Tettensor agreed with the Union, writing “there were no cases or settlements in evidence supporting any rollback for 2019 - 2020.”
He concluded, “it is fair and reasonable to the Employees and Employers and in the best interest of the public to award a 1% increase as the general adjustment to wages in Year 3 of the terms of the respective Collective Agreements.”
Members can expect to see the retroactive pay on a future pay cheque. Any worker that was employed by APS after January 1, 2020 is entitled to retroactive pay even if their employment was subsequently terminated. These workers should contact the APS Human Resources Department as soon as possible in order to make arrangements to receive their pay.
Your negotiating team extends congratulations on this well-deserved victory.