Posted on Jun 17, 2019

Bad Faith Bargaining Bill 9 gives UCP power to slash worker wages

EDMONTON – The UCP Government has been caught lying again, with claims its Bad Faith Bargaining Bill 9 intends only to delay contractually mandated negotiations on public sector contracts, charges the Official NDP Opposition.

The Bill, introduced last week, contains an omnibus clause that would allow the Minister of Finance to impose new contracts on Alberta’s public sector workers without returning to the Legislature. Section 5(c) of the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act gives the Government the power to make regulations “respecting any other matter that the Lieutenant Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable for carrying out the intent of this Act.”

As well, the Bill’s preamble makes it clear that the government is focused on public sector compensation as they look to balance the budget after giving large profitable corporations a 4.5-billion dollar tax cut.  The chair of their Blue-Ribbon Panel, Janice MacKinnon, has already said she believes salaries should be cut by two percent and now omnibus clause Section 5(c) would allow the government to roll back wages without bringing that plan for debate in the Legislature.

“The Government’s is putting this legislation forward as the first piece of a plan to gut wages for teachers, nurses, social workers, paramedics and many more.” said Christina Gray, NDP Labour critic. “These are people that work everyday to make life better in Alberta and this government won’t even be honest with them as they plot to steal money right out of their pockets.”

The Alberta NDP is calling on the UCP to stop their attack on workers with this legislation and to commit to good-faith negotiations with Alberta’s public sector unions.