Albertans are fortunate to have dedicated and hard working government employees committed to keeping Alberta functioning in a safe, secure and productive way. The Public Service Commission values their dedication to Albertans, but also must ensure services are sustainable now and into the future.
In many cases, Alberta Public Service workers are compensated significantly higher than peers in other comparable provinces.
Managing labour costs is the primary and most optimal means to allow government to continue to fund critical public services in an economically challenging environment.
Compensation for policy analysts is 16.8% higher
Compensation for wildlife biologists is 16.2% higher
Compensation for probation officers is 11.3% higher
Recent compensation awards
Earlier this year, an independent provincial arbitrator awarded unionized government workers a one per cent increase to their wages in the last year of their current collective agreement. This follows two years of no increases in that agreement. However, many unionized workers continue to receive pay increases year-over-year through normal in-range pay progression as they accumulate years of service.
In fact government workers have benefitted well from increases since 2000. Between 2000 and 2015, before worsening economic conditions fully grasped the province, public service wages grew 15 percentage points faster than inflation.
“Public servants work hard to provide services and deliver programs. At the same time, they have benefited from generous compensation and other benefits including during the recent recession and they need to participate in the government’s restraint plan.”
— MacKinnon Panel on Alberta’s Finances
Start of 2020 bargaining
On February 6, 2020 the Public Service Commission (PSC) and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) met to exchange proposals for a new collective agreement for government workers.
The PSC brought a proposal to the bargaining table that prioritizes service delivery over salary increases.
The proposal aligns with government’s commitment to Albertans to correct Alberta’s overspending problem so fewer taxpayer dollars go to banks to pay interest on debt and more can be reinvested in health, education and other vital services Albertans need.
The proposal will continue to ensure government workers are paid well, with competitive wages, while being respectful to the economic reality facing many Albertans who have seen their wages rolled back or their jobs lost completely.
Recently, AUPE chose to broadly share the Public Service Commission’s proposal on its website.
The answer to the following question provides some context in light of AUPE’s disclosure of some elements of the proposal.
Why is the Public Service Commission seeking to reduce pay to unionized government workers by 1% and adjust other terms and conditions?
In many cases government workers in Alberta are paid significantly more than peers in other large provinces.
The Public Service Commission is seeking to adjust that so more available tax dollars can be reinvested into high quality services we all rely on.
Collective bargaining: Minister Toews
Feb 6, 2020
Minister of Finance Travis Toews issued the following statement on collective bargaining negotiations between the Public Service Commission and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.
Arbitration awards: Minister Toews
Jan 31, 2020
Finance Minister Travis Toews issued the following statement on three arbitration decisions involving the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE).
Public Sector wage restraint: Minister Toews
Oct 29, 2019
Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance, issued the following statement on the continuation of 2019 public-sector wage arbitrations.
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If you want to know why the government is taking a certain action, how that action is being taken, or have any other questions about our efforts to make spending sustainable, we want to hear from you.
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