Q&As Wages

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Q&As on 2019 Negotiations

Q: Can you provide an update on where we are with wage negotiations?

A: Just so you are aware, the Local 002 Subsidiary Agreement forms part of the Government Services Master Collective Agreement, which was ratified on November 4, 2018. The part that is still outstanding DOES apply to Local 002 and the other 7 Locals affected, and that is the negotiation of wages. As you may have read on our Local 002 website at http://local002.aupe.ca/, AUPE is in the process of filing for arbitration as the GOA offered us 0% and would not move from that position. They also were not interested in bargaining further. The arbitration outcome will be binding.

The earliest date that AUPE could legally file for arbitration was March 31, 2019. The arbitration hearing must be concluded by June 30, 2019. However, if it is concluded close to the end of June, it may take the arbitrator a bit of time to finalize and share the binding decision/outcome. Any wage settlement will be retroactive to April 1, 2019.

Q: How is the Bargaining Committee establishing its opening position for the wage reopener?

A: The Union is using facts and research to determine a proposal that looks at matching inflation and cost of living increases while also including a general increase. From the results of the pre-bargaining detailed survey send out to all GOA members, and keeping in mind that member responses on the survey were probably based on the assumption that the term would be for 2 years, the average wage compensation noted by members as acceptable was just over 3% over the period of the contract.

Q: Is there a survey for the general (GOA) membership? 

A: See previous response.

Cost of Living Adjustment

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.

Q&A on Recent Cost of Living Increases

Q: Is it true that GOA members have not seen a cost of living increase in the past few years?

A: No. In fact, the negotiated increases for GOA members were actually greater than the cost of living (Alberta CPI) for 2015 and 2016.

2012  4%
2013  Lump Sum
2014  2%
2015  2.25%
2016– 2.5%

Q&A on Inflation

Q: How much ground have we lost to inflation and other such costs since the last time we got a raise?

A: The cost of living has increased around 4.5% over the past three years.

Q&As on AUPE Leaders and Staff

Q: Did AUPE leaders give themselves raises? 

A: No. AUPE is a union of over 90,000 Albertans. These members are represented by eight elected leaders who come from the membership. AUPE executive can’t give themselves raises. Their compensation is determined by AUPE members at Convention and any salary adjustments are tied to adjustments in the GOA contract, including the one you’re voting on. 

Q: Did AUPE staff give themselves raises?

A: No. AUPE has unionized staff of roughly 200 people. Their compensation is determined through the same collective bargaining process that applies to all unionized workers in Alberta. Collective bargaining resulted in compensation for AUPE staff that matched the same increases that GOA staff received from 2014 – 2017. These negotiations concluded in 2014 and had resulted in a five year deal for 2014 – 2018. The current staff collective agreement is publicly available. AUPE staff enter into negotiations again in 2019. 

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