AUPE sues over wage law

EDMONTON — Alberta’s largest public sector union has filed a lawsuit against Premier Alison Redford’s government over a new law that imposes a contract on union members.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s largest public sector union has filed a lawsuit against Premier Alison Redford’s government over a new law that imposes a contract on union members.

The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees claims that the law violates the charter rights of workers to act collectively and also breaches their rights to liberty and security.

“The deprivations of liberty and security of the person caused by Bill 46 are not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice,” reads the statement of claim filed in Court of Queen’s Bench Thursday.

The allegations in the statement of claim have not been proven in court.

The lawsuit does not sue for a specific dollar amount, but asks a judge to reinstate the union’s right to binding arbitration and to make the province reimburse workers for wages the union believes they would lose under the imposed deal.

The imposed four-year contract kicks in at the end of January unless the province and the union reach an agreement.

It would freeze wages in the first two years and give one per cent increases in each of the following two years.

Redford has said the law is necessary to ensure that public sector wages stay in line with wage restraints faced by teachers and physicians.

She has said that despite Alberta’s growing economy, the thousands of newcomers arriving to live and work in the province is putting a strain on resources to build more homes, schools, roads, hospitals and other infrastructure.

Bill 46 was tabled earlier this month with little notice in the final days of the legislature’s fall sitting.

The government imposed time limits on debate to pass the bill in less than a week.

It also passed a companion bill that immediately imposes escalating six-figure fines and penalties on unions that engage in illegal strikes or even talk publicly about launching such illegal action.

Redford said Bill 46 was necessary after the AUPE walked away from contract talks and filed for binding arbitration.

The AUPE said it was the province that did not engage in meaningful talks, necessitating first mediation and then arbitration.

The union, in the lawsuit, also stresses that the right of binding arbitration was granted under former Progressive Conservative premier Peter Lougheed.

In the 1970s, Lougheed’s government recognized that binding arbitration was a fair giveback for taking away the union’s right to strike.

Redford, when asked last week about the Lougheed promise, said her government didn’t start until 2011.

The AUPE represents 80,000 workers, including 22,000 who work directly for the provincial government.

Just Posted

Springbrook Skate Park gets financial boost

Province approves $125,000 grant for proposed skate park

ReThink Red Deer gets thumbs up from city on pollinator barn structure

Group is hoping to get a $40,000 building grant

Driver who backed into Red Deer pizzeria sentenced

David Andrew Amstutz sentenced for failing to remain at the crash scene

Team Alberta athletes arrive in Red Deer on Saturday for pre-games orientation

Excitement is building with less than a month to go, says Team Alberta spokesperson

UPDATED: STARS Lottery is back

Lacombe STARS patient tells his story

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

Teen vaping is an epidemic: US government

E-cigarettes are now the top high-risk substance used by teenagers, outpacing cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Most Read