Alberta Appeal Court says province can delay wage arbitration talks with unions

Overrules injunction given to AUPE in July
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 09/11/2019
Labour relations
The United Conservative (UC) government said it needed to hear from a government-appointed panel first on the province’s finances. Shutterstock

EDMONTON (CP) — The Alberta Court of Appeal has set aside an injunction that stopped the government from delaying wage arbitration for thousands of public-sector employees.

A judge granted the injunction in July when the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) challenged new legislation that put the talks on hold.

The union argued the legislation violated bargaining agreements, which promised wage arbitration talks after two years.

The United Conservative (UC) government said it needed to hear from a government-appointed panel first on the province’s finances.

In a 2-1 decision, the Appeal Court ruled that the judge’s decision to grant the injunction rested on errors of principle and was unreasonable.

A dissenting justice said she saw no reason to question the judge’s ruling that a delay could lead to irreparable harm in future contract negotiations.

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