Discussion posted by: David McNamara
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is urging the province’s public-sector unions to come to the table with proposals to cut wages or other benefits if they want to soften the blow from potential layoffs stemming from the provincial budget. The unions announced late last week that the government had sent them letters related to contract negotiations, which collectively identified more than 7,000 positions that could be affected by cuts to health care and other sectors. Union leaders have been gearing up to fight layoffs and demands for cuts, increasing the potential for confrontation with the province that could lead to strikes. Mr. Kenney’s first budget included a cut of 2.8 per cent to operating spending over the next several years as part of an election promise to rein in spending and balance the province’s budget.