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Many government unions get pay increases during Alberta's downturn, zero pay cuts

CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation released a report showing hundreds of government wage settlements across Alberta resulted in pay increases during the downturn, while zero led to pay reductions.

“We couldn’t find a single example of a government union that was willing to take a pay cut during Alberta’s downturn,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta Director. “Many workers outside of government lost their job or took a cut to keep their job, but not a single government labour agreement reflected this tough reality facing the province and taxpayers.”

The CTF’s report analyzed collective bargaining agreements published by the Alberta government, which show 295 settlements leading to pay increases for provincial and municipal government employees since the end of 2014. The table below shows where the wage increases took place.

There were no settlements that resulted in government employees receiving a pay cut and thousands of government employees under so-called wage freeze agreements actually received pay increases. The last broad Alberta government pay cut occurred in 1994, according to documents obtained by through freedom of information requests.

While no government settlements resulted in pay reductions during the downturn, 107 non-government union wage settlements resulted in pay reductions.

“Many Albertans have taken pay cuts to avoid as many layoffs as possible while keeping businesses afloat, but we couldn’t find a single government union that made that kind of sacrifice,” said Terrazzano. “We can’t keep asking struggling families to pay more tax because government union bosses aren’t willing to share in the burden.”

You can find the CTF’s report here.

Government wage settlement increases in Alberta (End of 2014 – October 2020)

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