This release was issued under a previous government.

Under the proposed legislation:

  • stiffer penalties will be put in place to hold unions and individuals who break the law accountable, and
  • taxpayers will be protected from costs of illegal strike action.

“The work of Alberta’s public sector employees supports healthy and safe communities – something our hard-working employees and every Albertan values. Illegal strikes put Albertans at risk. This bill holds unions and individuals who break the law accountable for their actions, while protecting taxpayers from the costs of illegal strikes.”

Dave Hancock, Minister,  Alberta Human Services

The Public Sector Services Continuation Act will apply to over 100,000 unionized workers in Alberta who are already prohibited from striking. These employees are represented by a variety of unions, including Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE), Canadian Union of Public Employees, Health Services Association of Alberta, United Nurses of Alberta and non-academic staff associations.

“The recent illegal AUPE strike by corrections officers meant more than 850 RCMP officers had to be pulled from communities to ensure our prisons remained secure – costing millions of dollars. This bill ensures stability of vital public sector services that keep our communities healthy and safe.”

Dave Hancock, Minister,  Alberta Human Services

Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.

Related information

Labour Relations Code

Public Service Employees Relations Act

Backgrounder

Fact Sheet

Bill 45, the Public Sector Services Continuation Act will introduce a more comprehensive range of measures that can be applied when there is an illegal strike or threat of an illegal strike. 

These include:

  • Automatic suspension of union dues;
  • Abatement order which creates a liability fund;
  • Civil liability for employer losses, which can be satisfied out of the liability fund;
  • Civil contempt for non-compliance with orders;
  • Prohibitions with:
    • Administrative enforcement for employees
    • Prosecutions with significantly higher fine amounts
  • The proposed legislation will only apply to unions and workers who are not permitted to strike under the Labour Relations Code and Public Service Employee Relations Act. 

This includes:

  • Employees of the provincial government and its agencies.
  • Alberta Health Services employees and employees in approved hospitals.
  • Employees of ambulance operators.
  • Non-academic staff in post-secondary institutions.
  • Firefighters.

 



 

Existing legislation:

Proposed legislation:

Legislation

Labour Relations Code

Public Service Employee Relations Act

Public Sector Services Continuation Act

Prohibited from strike action

Yes

Yes

Union Dues Suspension

Discretionary – Length of suspension may range from one to six months.

Automatic upon a finding of an illegal strike or strike threat. 

Suspension is three months for the first day or partial day of the strike or strike threat, and an additional month for each subsequent day or partial day.

Abatement Orders and Liability Funds

No provisions.

Abatement order made by the Court requires the union to pay $1,000,000 into Court for each day or partial day of the strike or strike threat. 

Amounts paid into Court create a liability fund which can be used to satisfy judgments or awards related to losses incurred by an employer as a result of the strike or strike threat.

Civil Liability

No provisions.  However, employers may sue or initiate a grievance to recover losses as a result of a strike.

The union is civilly liable for losses incurred by the employer as a result of the strike or strike threat.  Liability fund may be used to satisfy any judgments or awards.

Administrative Enforcement for Employees

No provisions.

An administrative penalty may be imposed on employees for violations of the legislation. 

The amount of the penalty is up to one day’s pay for each day or partial day of the violation. 

Penalty can be reconsidered and/or appealed to the Labour Relations Board.

If an employee is assessed an administrative penalty, the employee cannot be prosecuted for the same violation.

Fines

If convicted of an offence, maximum fines for an illegal strike or lockout are:

  • Union/Employer: $1,000 for each day of the strike or lockout
  • Union officer/representative: $10,000
  • Other persons (employees): $1,000

For other offences, maximum fines are:

  • Union/Employer: $100,000
  • Individuals: $5,000

If convicted of an offence, fines are set amounts per day or partial day of the offence:

  • Union/Employer: $250,000 plus $50 per member of the bargaining unit
  • Union officer/representative: $10,000
  • Employee: One day’s pay
  • Other person: $500

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