Joe Ceci, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance, made the following statement regarding public-sector bargaining:
“From the beginning, our government has made the stability of public services for Alberta families a top priority. As one of our first acts, we reversed reckless cuts to health care and education proposed by the former government and we have provided stable, predictable funding in each of our budgets.
“As we head into an important round of collective bargaining across the public sector, employers, unions and employee associations must work respectfully to achieve agreements that recognize the unprecedented fiscal challenges facing the province and the critical importance of protecting the long-term stability and sustainability of vital public services.
“Our government believes that best outcomes will result from bargaining at the table by the respective parties’ negotiators. To that end, our government will limit its comments on bargaining only to those occasions when required by the bargaining or other processes.
“For the 2017 round of bargaining, approximately 85 collective agreements are open for negotiations, including major agreements in the health-care sector (affecting 86,800 employees), education (56,300 employees), post-secondary education (14,600 employees) and the Alberta public service and related agencies boards and commissions (21,050 employees).”