Q: I’m looking for some clarity on whether or not Bargaining Unit staff receive a cost of living adjustment this year (in addition to step increases)? I recall receiving one last year (or perhaps the year prior), but am finding it difficult to locate documentation confirming that one way or another. Of note, I found the attached document online, which states that “…the negotiated increases for GOA members were actually greater than the cost of living (Alberta CPI) for 2015 and 2016.”
A: So as you may know, this round of bargaining is for a 3 year term, which would end on March 31, 2020. We already voted to accept 0% for the first two years of the contract but gained significantly with numerous additions and changes to protect workers from potential layoffs, bullying, harassment, etc. The GSBC were particularly concerned about protecting workers' jobs past a provincial election by making it very difficult to lay off permanent employees. However, wages negotiations were re-opened on January 15, 2019 to negotiate wage increases for the last year of our 3-year term (April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020). On January 22, 2019, GOA returned to the table refusing to offer anything more than 0% again and refusing to agree to filing for arbitration any earlier than the legislated date of March 31, 2019 (next week).
Cost of living increases have been rolled into the overall wage increases in the past. That is unlikely this time as the cost of living over the past 3 years has increased by around 4.5%. GSBC tabled a proposal for 6.5%.
Once arbitration is filed, it has to be completed by the end of June 2019 and we are asking that any settlement be retroactive to April 1, 2019. If you would like to know about some of the changes in the current Collective Agreement, a good place to go to is Local 002's website at http://local002.aupe.ca/. It contains updated information on what is going on in our Local and not just with bargaining. Take a look at the document at: https://aupelocal002.publishpath.com/Websites/aupelocal002/images/tentative_agreement_summary_Aug30_18.pdf- it summarizes the major changes to our current Collective Agreement.
For tracking step increases, for the first time that process is detailed in Article 45- RATES OF PAY, so that employees are aware of the process and timelines so that they are able to address any delays in obtaining their increments. Once an employee has reached the top of their grid within their classification, their pay will only increase through negotiated wage increases. For those who have not yet reached their maximum pay, they are eligible for a step increment plus any negotiated wage increases.