“This independent public sector wage arbitration outcome of zero increase reflects the current economic realities in the province. This decision helps keep government on track with our commitment to Albertans to prioritize service delivery over salary increases for public sector workers.

“It is also respectful of the economic challenges so many other Albertans have recently faced – seeing their wages decrease or disappear altogether.

“Public sector compensation accounts for more than half of all government expenses and in many cases public sector workers in Alberta earn significantly more than peers in other provinces.

“Sustaining high quality services requires common sense collective agreements that over time bring Alberta’s spending on public sector wages in line with other provinces.

“This fiscal restraint and discipline must continue as we enter into new collective bargaining negotiations in 2020. The need for wage restraint does not diminish our recognition for the hard work public sector workers do for Albertans.

“Our goal as we move forward with upcoming negotiations is to do so cooperatively, not combatively.”