POLITICS

Alberta premier 'pleased' to meet with unions to discuss options amid low oil

03/09/2015 07:18 EDT | Updated 05/09/2015 05:59 EDT
EDMONTON - Premier Jim Prentice says he is taking union leaders up on their offer to meet to discuss issues arising from Alberta's shrinking revenue base.

Prentice said in a news release that he will meet with the leaders some time in the next 10 days.

The premier and the public sector unions have been at loggerheads over how to deal with the collapse in world oil prices that have sucked billions of dollars out of the treasury.

Prentice has singled out public sector labour contracts as too costly and unsustainable.

Union leaders say that is a misleading argument, and say the province continues to under-tax corporations and the wealthy, leaving billions of dollars on the table.

Prentice has already said while all Albertans must share the burden to fix a faltering economy, he won't hike corporate taxes or oil royalties to get out of it.

"I look forward to discussing Alberta's fiscal situation, our evolving labour strategy, and how the public sector can be a partner in ensuring fairness for both workers and taxpayers," he said.