More than 700 support staff at SAIT have ratified a four-year collective agreement that reflects the tentative agreement reached between the Government of Alberta and its workers.
“It took a lot of hard work and the help of a mediator, but in the end we’ve achieved a collective agreement that is consistent with the trend in the public sector,” said Guy Smith, President of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, which represents the workers.
Under the new deal, which expires June 30, 2017, employees will receive a retroactive lump sum payment of $1,400 (prorated for part-time and casual employees) in the first year, a two-per-cent wage increase in July 2014, a 2.25-per-cent increase in July 2015 and a 2.5-per-cent increase in July 2016.
Other highlights include improvements to vacation time, job security provisions and an increase to employees’ health spending accounts.
“We hope this new collective agreement demonstrates the beginning of improved collaboration with this employer,” said Smith. “In the past our dealings with SAIT have been difficult, but we’re seeing very positive signs from this new administration and we’re hopeful we can build a strong, respectful relationship.”
SAIT is the second post-secondary institution to reach a collective agreement with AUPE that reflects the GOA tentative agreement. Earlier this month NAIT employees in Edmonton ratified a very similar contract.
“The entire post-secondary sector has been through a very difficult time financially,” said Smith. “But these settlements are a reflection of the improving picture. We hope other employers in the sector will also acknowledge this improvement.”
AUPE represents nearly 8,500 support staff at 16 post-secondary institutions across Alberta. Members at 10 institutions are currently in collective bargaining, and three more will see their contracts expire at the end of June.
For more information, contact:
Guy Smith, AUPE President: (780) 265-2294
Kevin Davediuk, AUPE staff negotiator: (780) 729-7916
Andrew Hanon, AUPE communications: (780) 932-7644