AFL president calls on Premier to remove clause that gives cabinet “backdoor powers” to impose wage cuts
EDMONTON – Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour, has sent a letter to Premier Kenney asking him to clarify the government’s intentions for Bill 9, the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act.
McGowan says here is a very concerning clause that would allow Cabinet to make regulations on anything to do with the intent of the Act which could mean cutting the salaries of nurses, teachers and other public-sector workers.
In his letter, McGowan asks the Premier two questions:
First, if this Bill is really just about deferring arbitration, that goal can clearly can be accomplished by Sections 2 and 3. Why do you need the other extraordinary powers that would be conferred on your government by section 5(c)?
Second, given the clear breakdown of trust between your government and the thousands and thousands of hard-working Albertans who will be impacted by this legislation, can you give us a clear and unequivocal assurance that the powers conferred by Section 5(c) will NOT be used to impose wage rollbacks and that, instead, your government will respect the collective bargaining process?
If you cannot provide these reassurances, we will have no choice but to proceed on the assumption that your government intends to break contracts, ignore the collective bargaining process and use the power of your majority to inappropriately impose wage cuts.
Director of Communications