Alberta government workers accept collective agreement

21,000 public employees will receive a four per cent wage increase

Alberta provincial government employees have voted 83 per cent in favour of ratifying a new two-and-a-half-year agreement.

The 21,000 administrative, health support and correctional service workers will receive a four per cent wage increase in the second year of the contract. Full-time employees will also receive a $1,750 lump sum payment upon ratification and another lump sum of $1,250 in January 2012.

The Alberta Union of Public Employees members will also have a $750 annual health spending account come in to effect in the second year of the contract. Shift differential and weekend premium pay will increase to $2.25 from the current $1.75.

“Our job now is to immediately get to work to enforce this collective agreement including the new provisions we negotiated on dealing with workload issues, which were a priority for our members in bargaining,” AUPE President Guy Smith said in a release.

The contract includes the creation of a process to address ongoing workload and staffing level issues faced by workers. AUPE President Guy Smith, along with three other union representatives, will meet with the Public Service Commissioner and three representatives six times annually to discuss issues plaguing the parties. The contract highlights the following ongoing concerns: staffing requirements, situations where current employees are moved out of the broader public sector and the use of temporary employees.

More than 60 per cent of eligible voters cast a mail-in ballot. Eight locals are included in the agreement that expires in March 2013.

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