Hundreds of Albertans gathered outside the Legislative Assembly in Edmonton and at locations in Lethbridge and Calgary yesterday to voice their opposition to the Redford Government’s Bill 45 and Bill 46.
While aimed principally at the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, these bills have serious implications for all public sector unions, including United Nurses of Alberta.
Bill 46 would allow the government to impose a two-year wage freeze on AUPE members by circumventing the law requiring it to settle the negotiations through binding arbitration, a process that had been scheduled to begin in February.
Bill 45 contains provisions that would impose extremely heavy penalties, in some cases amounting to millions of dollars, on public service unions and individual members that strike or threaten to strike.
UNA continues to be concerned that the effect of these bills will be to make it unlikely Alberta Health Services and other employers will be motivated to negotiate in good faith.
UNA members are encouraged to contact their MLA this week and express their concerns with this legislation.