Negotiations between Alberta Gov't and AUPE stalled

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Hurtin Albertan
Negotiations between Alberta Gov't and AUPE stalled

Talks with Alberta Government Stalled, Government Employees Being Undervalued



EDMONTON - AUPE's General Service Bargaining Committee (GSBC) met with the employer Jan. 13,14, 17 and 18 in Edmonton to continue negotiations for a fair collective agreement for approximately 22,000 direct employees of the Alberta government.

Following 23 days of bargaining, the union and employer have reached an impasse, leaving the GSBC to determine any further talks at this point would simply be idle and unproductive.

"The government of Alberta continues to ignore significant and ongoing issues faced by the employees that do the work for them to make this province run smoothly. These employees are being unappreciated and undervalued by their employer and AUPE has every intention of highlighting their worth in their next collective agreement, no matter what it takes," said AUPE president Guy Smith. "Anything less would be unacceptable."

"At the same time Premier Stelmach has publicly stated that he is justifiably proud of the Alberta public service, and that he believes it is the best in the country, his representatives at the negotiating table continue to refuse to address issues such as workload, understaffing and threats of cuts and rollbacks which are severely undermining the level and quality of services Albertans rely upon," Smith said.

"Our members are dedicated day in and day out to providing a large range of services to Albertans when they need them; and to the protection, safety, and security of all citizens, including those most vulnerable and at risk. At the same time they are performing essential roles in building the 'Alberta Advantage' but are being undervalued and disregarded," said Smith.

AUPE negotiator Jim Petrie said the employer's reluctance to change anything in the agreement has led the bargaining committee to consider all options, including meeting with members, mediation, arbitration or other avenues.

"The employer's position is not productive and in direct contrast to what our members have told us they want to see in their collective agreement. We have the support of our members now, and we will have it throughout these negotiations, despite the employer's claim to the opposite," added Petrie.

A series of 15 well-attended town hall meetings for AUPE members were held in November and December where members showed strong support for the GSBC's bargaining positions with the government.

"The government's position continues to be negative and in disagreement to any changes the employer considers an infringement on the rights of management," said Petrie. "Our mandate is to push ahead with our position, this has been made clear to us through contact with thousands of our members."

The union will be meeting with various local bargaining committees province-wide Feb. 3 to give updates and discuss future directions. The GSBC will inform members of the results of this meeting soon after.

"We will continue our commitment made at the town hall meetings to meet with, engage and inform members on the state of negotiations," said Petrie.

Since negotiations began, an agreement in principle has been reached on a number of articles including the 6-and-3 shift scheduling arrangements, the probationary period for new employees and purging disciplinary records.

The agreement between AUPE and the Alberta government is the largest and most complex collective agreement in the province. It is made up of a master agreement covering all government employees and nine subsidiary agreements affecting more than 20,000 employees in each of the nine occupational areas represented by the locals.

The previous three-year agreement expired Aug. 31, 2010, but will continue to be in effect until a new agreement is reached.

AUPE and the GSBC are committed to keeping members informed on the progress of these negotiations.

Issues Pages: 
Hurtin Albertan

As a AUPE member I was at one of those "town hall" meetings back in December.  I'll have to see if I can find the information package the negotiating committee handed out then, it had a lot of the details as to what the union is trying to get included in the next collective agreement.

Think the union claimed that the entire payroll of all the AUPE members currently working for the Alberta government amountsd to something like 1% of the entire gov't spending, something like that.  So essentially it's not like the Alberta gov't is digging in their heels in order to save the taxpayers a huge pile of money. 

In my opinion and in the opinion of many of my friends and co-workers the current Alberta government is doing this because at heart they are anti organized labour.  I really think if they could privatize us all they would have done so long ago.

I'll keep this posted with information as the situation develops.

I can only imagine how future negotiations will go if the Wild Rose Alliance ever gets into power.  I don't claim to know much about that party but I just don't see them as being very union friendly.  Needless to say I'll be doing a lot of research into the WRA before the next provincial election.

Hurtin Albertan

Can someone tell me if it's worth posting this in one of the other sections of the forum?  Not sure what the board policy is on that.

If so, does Alberta related stuff go into The Prairies or The western Provinces?

Hurtin Albertan

Well I'll be.....we seem to have ended up with a far better deal than anyone had expected!
AUPE and government of Alberta sign tentative agreement for 21,000 direct government employees
Posted April 01, 2011 in Government Services and tagged with general service, gsbc

EDMONTON - The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees and the government of Alberta have signed a tentative agreement on a new contract for approximately 21,000 direct government employees represented by the union.
The tentative agreement, which was signed by representatives of the two parties at AUPE headquarters in Edmonton yesterday morning, calls for a two and a half year collective agreement with significant improvements in many areas for affected AUPE members.
"The union and the employer had to work very hard to reach this agreement, and I am very proud of the long hours devoted to these negotiations by our bargaining team and the effort put into working with our bargaining team by the government's negotiators," said AUPE President Guy Smith.
"This is a historic agreement that our bargaining team should be proud of," Smith said. "We have not only achieved meaningful pay increases, but have addressed many of the serious concerns our members have had with this agreement for more than three decades."
Smith said that AUPE's General Services Bargaining Committee (GSBC), which represents all direct government employees who are members of the union, is recommending ratification of the agreement by members.
Key improvements in the agreement include:

  • The historic inclusion of seniority provisions in contract language pertaining to position abolishment, for the first time in the history of collective bargaining between the Alberta government and AUPE.
  • Legal indemnification provisions for all government employees.
  • Creation of a high-level process to address ongoing workload and staffing level issues faced by the government workforce.
  • Creation of a process for the continued review regarding the utilization by the employer of wage and temporary staff.
  • Removal of a cap on long-term disability insurance payments.

(the old cut 'n paste doesn't seem to have quite worked the way I thought it would)

For the $$$ part we got a 4% increase and an unheard of and very much unexpected signing bonus too!  Mainly I'm just happy we got the seniority provisions and the workload and staffing issues being looked at.

Anyways a big FU to the Canadian Taxpayer's Association who thought we should have taken a 5% pay cut instead.