President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance Travis Toews issued the following statement about two arbitration decisions of no wage increases involving the Alberta Teachers Association and the United Nurses of Alberta.
“These independent public sector wage arbitration outcomes reflect the current economic realities in the province. The decisions align with the crucial need to fix Alberta’s spending problem and ensure the long-term sustainability of high quality services for Albertans.
“As the MacKinnon panel identified, public sector compensation accounts for more than half of government expenses and wages are, on average, substantially higher than other large provinces.
“Correcting wages over time is a critical part of our government’s commitment to get our fiscal house in order. Even with these decisions, fiscal restraint and discipline must continue as we enter into new collective bargaining negotiations in 2020.
“As we said at Budget 2019, there is no new money for public sector raises in the fiscal plan.
“We have a great deal of respect and admiration for Alberta’s public sector workers. The need for wage restraint does not diminish our recognition for the hard work they do for Albertans.”