Update on .5% ‘Gain Sharing’ COLA

Dear Members,

In the 2020-2024 round of bargaining, the government directives for almost every public sector table included a potential 0.5% COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) increase dependent on a ‘Gain Sharing Formula.’ Essentially, if the average of private forecasts for Alberta’s Real GDP for 2023 were at or above 2.7%, an additional 0.5% would be applied to each Member’s salary, retroactive to December 1st, 2023. The specific language can be found in Schedule A.02.5 of the collective agreement.

Unfortunately, ULFA has learned from the employer that the 2.7% average threshold was not met. The employer provided ULFA with a letter from the Alberta Government Provincial Bargaining Compensation Office (PBCO) confirming that the average (of the private independent financial institutions) Real GDP forecast for 2023 was 2.07%.

We understand this is frustrating for our Members, as it is yet another example of problems that arise from government interference at the bargaining table. The mandate for a new collective agreement, a mandate enthusiastically ratified by our Members, has as a top priority to ‘Address the erosion of salary and stipends in relation to the cost of living over previous years, and address the difference in salary and stipends relative to comparator institutions.’ Bargaining proposals from ULFA are being prepared with that goal in mind.

Please support the ULFA Negotiating Team in the current round of bargaining, which should commence shortly as ULFA has now issued notice to bargain. This can include attending town halls, rallies, and general meetings. Ask questions! Get active with your union. Despite the disappointing result of no 0.5% gain sharing, we remind you it was your collective efforts in the last round that changed the employer’s offer (likely the provincial directives) from what had been a -4% retroactive decrease in salaries to the gains that were achieved.

Chris Burton

ULFA President