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Independent arbitrator refuses to roll back AUPE member wages

1% raise awarded to some AUPE members, others get wage freeze

1% raise awarded to some AUPE members, others get wage freeze

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An independent arbitrator has refused to cut the wages of 65,000 members of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) working for the Government of Alberta and for Alberta Health Services (AHS), but has awarded a small raise to only some of those members.
 
Government employees will receive a 1% wage raise for 2019, as will members employed by AHS in General Support Services (GSS). However, the arbitrator ruled that nursing care members employed by AHS will not get an increase.
 
“We have said all along that our members deserved a raise after enduring a two-year wage freeze,” says Guy Smith, president of AUPE, who is available to talk to reporters today. “We are convinced these hard-working members in health care and government services deserve more than another freeze or one per cent, which is below inflation.”

Evidence is clear: Economic argument for freezes, rollbacks doesn’t stand up

Independent arbitrator Phyllis Smith awarded a one-per-cent wage raise, retroactive to April 1, 2019, to AUPE members employed by Alberta Health Services in General Support Services (GSS), as well as members employed by the Government of Alberta (GOA). The arbitrator ruled for a third-year freeze for members employed by AHS in nursing care (ANC).
 
How this will impact thousands more AUPE front-line workers in post-secondary education and government boards and agencies, heading into third year wage arbitration, remains to be seen.
 
“During the arbitration process, the arbitrator heard evidence from both sides. It rejected the government’s often repeated claims that Alberta’s public-sector workers are overpaid,” says the AUPE president
 
“The previous NDP government’s attempt to force a third year of wage freeze on us in arbitration created a bad situation for our members, making us have to fight longer and wait longer for a raise. The UCP took advantage of that and tried to force a rollback on us.”

Independent arbitrator rules on Correctional Peace Officers Level 3

As part of the arbitrator’s decision, AUPE was also disappointed that there was not a separate wage increase to Level 3 Correctional Peace Officers (CPOs) working in correctional facilities.

“These officers do dangerous and difficult work, that is directly comparable to the work done by Sheriffs and Sheriff Sergeants. They are both employed by the government and operate under the same collective agreement, but the CPOs are paid about 15 per cent less.”
 
Members are focused on new round of bargaining “As we head into bargaining the next collective agreements in the coming months, our message to the government is that it’s time to focus on Albertans. It’s time to put people before profits. It’s time to make decisions based on evidence, not ideology,” says the AUPE president.
 
“Instead of proceeding with misguided and corporate tax cuts costing $4.7 billion, lets focus on what Albertans really need – reliable public services and no more job losses.”
 
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For more information, please contact:
 
Terry Inigo-Jones, AUPE communications officer: 403-831-4394

 

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