“Negotiations between AUPE and APS resumed yesterday after being on pause because of the pandemic. The APS presented the government’s new offer to AUPE.

“The mandate presented to the union reflects the province’s current economic and fiscal reality. The government is asking unionized public service employees to be part of the solution, as we face the worst economic crisis in nearly a century.

“Alberta’s government has led the way with pay cuts for the Premier, MLAs and most recently for political staff. The province has revised its bargaining position, asking the public service to take an additional three per cent reduction in the first year and zeros for the next three years. The previous position was for a one per cent reduction. This is a fair and reasonable offer. The union’s ingoing proposal is asking for a five per cent raise, while thousands of Albertans working in the private sector have already taken pay cuts.

“Alberta now faces a debt burden of almost $100 billion and fiscal responsibility and accountability to taxpayers is more important than ever.

“Compensation is government’s largest expense and represents more than half of operating expenses. The government is committed to delivering core government services more cost effectively to ensure those services are sustainable into the future.”