Alberta Government Postpones Bill 46
and Extends Bargaining Deadline with Workers
A judge has granted the Alberta Union of Provincial Employee’s injunction against Bill 46, after the union voiced objections regarding the proposed legislation. The bill would have imposed a two-year pay freeze if the province was unable to negotiate a settlement with AUPE. In addition to the pay freeze, the bill would also away the union’s right to settle disputes in front of an arbitration board, and imposes six- to seven-figure fines if the union goes on strike illegally.
Deputy Premier, David Hancock said that the cabinet passed an order that extends the bill’s bargaining deadline to March 31st, 2014. The Conservative government had previously passed a law that would force AUPE into a four-year deal, if an agreement was not reached by January 31st.
AUPE members feel demoralized by the events surrounding Bill 46
AUPE president, Guy Smith, says that the union is ready to renegotiate if the government comes forward with a new mandate. “We hope that the new mandate reflects the Alberta economy and is not a further insult to our members,” Smith explained in a news release issued on behalf of the union.
Hancock says that while the government must still operate within a set fiscal framework, it does have the ability to be flexible in future negotiations. Hancock also maintains that the government’s goal is to achieve an agreement that will be fair to employees within the public sector, and to the Alberta taxpayer.
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