Government’s improved offer rejected by AUPE
Deputy Premier Dave Hancock issued the following statement in response to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees’ (AUPE) rejection of the government’s latest and best contract offer:
“This week, we spent three days bargaining with AUPE resulting in government negotiators tabling an improved offer that is fair to employees and fair to taxpayers. I am extremely disappointed that the union’s bargaining leadership rejected it.
“Our improved offer included additional compensation for employees in each year of the proposed four-year agreement. They would receive a lump-sum cash payment of $3100 this April covering the first two years of the proposed agreement where there is a zero per cent salary increase. They would also receive a $775 lump-sum cash payment in April 2015, along with a one per cent salary increase. The proposed agreement also calls for a two per cent salary increase in 2016-17.
“We also offered to provide employees with additional paid days off over Christmas and New Year’s starting this year so they can spend more time with their families.
“The Alberta government strongly believes that this latest and best offer is a fair offer that recognizes the realities of the world in which we live for taxpayers and for the public service.
“I encourage Albertans to see the proposed agreement so you can judge it for yourself.”
February 26, 2014
We have been instructed to table this offer. To date our discussions have been without prejudice. This offer is tabled without that condition.
AUPE and the Government have agreed to a number of progressive measures that have modernized the collective agreement. We are attaching all of the items we understand we have signed off and agreed to. Please advise us if there are any errors in this sign off sheet.
But collective bargaining involves difficult choices. It is important we are fiscally responsible. We want to achieve an agreement that is fair to employees and fair to taxpayers.
Over the last 11 years Alberta’s public service employees have received increases of 36.05%. In contrast public servants in Saskatchewan received 32.13% and public servants in BC received 18.54% over the same period. Predictably, this means that Alberta’s taxpayers generally pay more for its public service labour. We think it is fair to pay our public servants wages more in line with our neighbours.
We are proposing to incorporate the signed off items into the collective agreement.
With respect to wages we are proposing increases that will see an employee receive additional compensation in every year of this agreement. This is achieved through one-time lump-sum cash payments in each of the first three years as well as hourly wage increases in the final two years, as follows:
We are also proposing to implement Christmas Closure provisions into the collective agreement commencing 2014-2015. This means we will be providing employees’ additional days off by closing government offices between Christmas and New Year’s Day and paying employees for that time off. This would only apply to non-essential services.
Finally, shift differential and weekend premium proposals would begin in 2015-2016, providing additional compensation for AUPE employees in circumstances that qualify for the payment.
We await your response and are available to answer your questions.