EDMONTON – The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees reached a tentative agreement on a four-year deal with the Government of Alberta this morning, following months of charged negotiations.
“We now have a tentative agreement that we can recommend to our members for ratification with our heads held high,” said AUPE President Guy Smith.
“We always preferred a negotiated settlement to arbitration. A negotiated settlement allows our members to exercise their right to vote on the terms of the agreement that will directly affect their working lives for years to come,” he said.
The tentative deal affects approximately 22,000 front-line government employees. Details of the new agreement will be released to the membership first before the union comments on it publicly.
The agreement was reached after intense negotiations that have been ongoing since February of this year. It concludes an often emotionally charged round of bargaining that began a year ago.
“With this agreement, the government has taken a positive first step towards rebuilding trust with AUPE. I recognize our members’ trust in the government is still badly damaged and won’t be repaired overnight, but this is an important move in the right direction,” Smith said.
He promised AUPE will continue working for members on key issues.
“The union’s work is not finished. We will be continuing our strong advocacy on the pension changes proposed in Bill 9, and to undo the restrictions on members’ freedoms in Bill 45, and more,” said Smith.
“Bill 9 still poses a significant threat to our members’ retirement security. Hundreds of thousands of employees and retirees see it as a broken promise. They remained in their careers on the basis of the pension they were promised would be there for their retirement. Similarly, Bill 45 remains in place, undermining members’ basic rights to freedom of expression and association,” Smith said.
“We are prepared to rebuild the relationship with the government that’s needed to ensure Albertans get the quality services they deserve. Our members will be judging the government on their actions, not their words.”
For more information:
Guy Smith, President, AUPE: 780-265-2294
Tyler Bedford, Communications Officer, AUPE: 780-930-3406