Bargaining Update - February 23, 2016


Our arbitration hearing began on Feb. 16 and ended Feb. 19 with closing arguments from both the union and employer, which lasted late into the night.

The union’s case was presented using seven witnesses, including representatives from the United Nurses of Alberta and the Health Sciences Association of Alberta.

AUPE provided more than 100 labour-market comparators to support the bargaining positions put forward by your bargaining team on behalf of GSS members.

Overall, the union presented approximately 2,000 pages of evidence and believes it offered solid arguments for why its positions are the ones that should be considered by the arbitration panel for your collective agreement.

Here is a quick summary of our positions:

  • Two-year collective agreement of 2.25 per cent in year one and 2 per cent in year two
  • Increases to flexible spending account and several market adjustments to classes the union believes are behind the Alberta market
  • Language changes that deal with internal equity issues
  • The employer is looking for a three-year deal of 1 per cent each year. It also wants language changes that are not in other health-care collective agreements with AHS


The union is uncertain of what the timeframe will be for the award to be given. With the volume of evidence that needs to be considered, a written award may not be issued until early to mid summer.

This is something that can’t be affected by the union, as the arbitration panel must be allowed an adequate amount of time to fully and fairly consider the positions and evidence presented by both parties.

Your bargaining team is committed to let everyone know what the award is once we hear from the arbitration board.

As far as retro-activity goes, your collective agreement has provisions that allow people to write and request back pay, even in cases where they have resigned or been terminated. This part of our collective agreement is still in place and was not changed by any party.

16 02-23 Bargaining Poster

Your bargaining committee:
Your bargaining committee is committed to keeping you informed throughout the entire bargaining process. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of your committee with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.
    Nancy Woods         
    Melanie Thompson