Aren’t public sector workers due for a pay increase?

Since 2000, Alberta’s public sector wage growth has far exceeded the rate of inflation.

While 0% increases were negotiated in recent collective agreements with public sector unions, many unionized public sector workers still receive pay increases year-over-year through normal in-range pay progression as they accumulate years of service. Earlier this year, arbitrators awarded unionized Alberta Public Service workers and some workers in certain health care occupations a one per cent increase to their wages.

Viewed over a broader term, government workers have benefitted from increases that exceeded inflation. In fact, between 2000 and 2015, before the economic downturn placed its full grasp on the province, inflation in Alberta was 46 per cent. Over the same period, workers’ wages grew 61 per cent, 15 percentage points faster than inflation.

The same is true for teachers and nurses. Between 2000 and 2015, teachers saw growth in base wages of 19 percentage points more than inflation – and nurses saw even greater gains of 37 percentage points more than inflation. Health workers in paramedical, professional and technical services saw an increase of 39 percentage points more than inflation.

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