Rallies against Bill 9 have continued despite a judge’s decision to grant injunction halting application of the legislation, which was intended to delay arbitration for thousands of Alberta public employees.
On Monday, July 29, Mr. Justice Eric Maclin of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench granted the injunction suspending the bill, known as the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act since it was passed by the Legislature in June, which had postponed wage talks until the end of October.
On Wednesday, July 31, while anti-Bill-9 information pickets continued in Calgary, Fort Saskatchewan and Edmonton, the government asked the Alberta Court of Appeal for leave to appeal Justice Macklin’s decision.
Members of UNA, AUPE, CUPE and HSAA and their supporters showed up for a lunch-hour rally outside the Rockyview Hospital in Calgary, and close to 300 at the early evening rally in downtown Edmonton. Smaller numbers attended the Fort Saskatchewan information walk. The events were organized by AUPE with the support of all other public sector unions, including UNA.
Bill 9, the Public Sector Wage Arbitration Deferral Act, is intended to delay collective bargaining and arbitration for tens of thousands of Alberta public employees, including most of UNA’s more than 30,000 members, until the end of October. It was passed by the Legislature on June 19 and was given Royal Assent, becoming law, on June 28.
UNA filed a statement of claim with the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta on July 3 seeking a declaration the Act is of no force or effect because it is violation of the freedom of association provision of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which the courts have ruled guarantees the right of Canadian workers to bargain collectively.