Kenney government to bring in bill to alter union wage deals

The Alberta government has served notice it will bring in legislation to allow the province to override bargained contract agreements and delay wage talks for thousands of public-sector workers.

Government house leader Jason Nixon told the legislature the United Conservatives will introduce the bill soon.

Delaying binding arbitration on wages would affect nurses, conservation officers, peace officers, hospital support staff, administrators and librarians.

Finance Minister Travis Toews has already said all options are on the table as he and his staff work to find savings to eradicate Alberta’s annual multibillion-dollar budget deficits.

Watch below: (From June 11, 2019) David Eggen, NDP Advanced Education Critic, talks about a letter sent from the finance ministry to public sector unions about passing legislation if necessary to override collective bargaining agreement with unions.

The government wants a delay until a panel submits its report in August on the best way to save the province money.

Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley accused Toews during question period today of committing a “gross abuse of power” by using legislation to avoid fulfilling the terms of contracts negotiated in good faith.

Watch below: (From May 14, 2019) Tensions are rising between organized labour and the new government, and nurses’ wage negotiations are at the heart of the dispute. Tom Vernon explains.

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