Alberta public sector union bracing for up to 5,900 government job cuts

EDMONTON – The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) says the government plans to cut up to 5,900 positions as part of its plan to balance the province’s budget by the 2022-23 fiscal year.

AUPE officials say the layoffs would affect government and Alberta Health Services employees.

A letter from the government sent to the union says jobs are guaranteed until March 30, 2020, but that beginning on April 1, the government will use all options available to meet its priorities.

The letter says the cuts could include jobs and vacant positions.

Union president Guy Smith says members of the AUPE executive will meet next week to determine how it will respond.

“This is devastating news to our members and to all Albertans who rely on public services. There are still a lot of unknown details at this time,” Smith said in a statement on Friday.

“AUPE members have known cuts and job losses were coming. We’ve been talking about this possibility for months. We have rallied and picketed across the province, and now these potential cuts have become a looming reality.”

(With file from The Canadian Press)