We want to take a moment to update you on possible impacts to bargaining due to recent Government activities following the budget handed down on October 24th, 2019. It has been publicly revealed that the Government is seeking rollbacks on workers’ wages in the public sector. To date we understand they are asking for a 2% rollback to general public service workers, a 3% rollback to Nurses, and a 5% rollback to people who work in Health Sciences.
What about us? The government is currently working on Bill 21, which has now gone through 2nd reading. This bill, should it receive royal assent in the house, will allow the Government to direct Post-Secondary Institutions to roll back wages, among other things. In our recent survey 96% of our survey respondents indicated that it was important to them that NASA be able to bargain wages and benefits freely on their behalf, independent of government interference and other unions within the same sector.
The Schedule attached to Bill 21 states:
Directives to employers 3(1) The Minister may issue directives that an employer must follow before, during and after engaging in collective bargaining or a related process. (2) Directives issued by the Minister under this section may include directives
(a) respecting the term of a collective agreement an employer may propose or agree to,
(b) respecting fiscal limits the employer must operate within when engaging in collective bargaining or a related process
Bill 21 has not yet reached the stage of royal assent, but it is working its way through the legislature.
Aside from the new powers the government plans to implement, which allows them to interfere in our collective bargaining process, the provincial budget revealed information about cuts to the University's share of the Campus Alberta grant. As per President Turpin’s presentation on October 30th, 2019, they continue to assess the situation and are looking at all possible avenues and options. He specifically has asked anyone to provide their ideas to the University on any cost savings measures you can think of. You can learn more by clicking here.
We are currently in bargaining; we continue to meet with the employer and our position remains that you deserve increases in your wages, not rollbacks, as well as job security.
We will continue to gather your feedback as we navigate the difficult times ahead to ensure we are aligning NASA’s position with member priorities.