Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) members held an information picket outside of Leduc Community Hospital to rally against the United Conservative Party government’s Bill 9 in Leduc, on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. Bill 9 — the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act — was passed by the government and delays wage talks between the government and public sector unions until after Oct. 31.
The picket today is not the only one across the province, says AUPE president Guy Smith. He argues that the bill is frustrating to members who took zero wage increases for two years as the Alberta economy went through a slump due to low oil prices.
“They work hard for Albertans every single day and now the government has disrespected their rights,” Smith said while union members marched with colourful flags and handwritten signs along the sidewalk outside the hospital.
“I think the public need to be aware, even if they don’t support unions, we’ve seen this in the past, they cannot support a government that uses the power of the state to take away legally binding rights,” he said. “I think every Albertan should be concerned about that.”
— With files from Clare Clancy