01/15/2014 04:09 EST | Updated 03/17/2014 05:59 EDT

AUPE Says Alberta's Latest Contract Offer Poor And Likely To Be Rejected

EDMONTON - The head of Alberta's largest public sector union says while the province has marginally improved its latest contract offer, it's far from acceptable.

Guy Smith of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees says the offer is likely to be rejected as the two sides resume bargaining this week.

Smith also says he is not sure how committed Premier Alison Redford's government is to negotiating a new deal with union, which represents 22,000 front-line government workers.

In December, Redford's government passed a law imposing a four-year deal of zero to one per cent wage hikes on the union unless the two sides can reach another agreement by the end of January.

Smith says if the government doesn't like how talks are going, it will just wait two weeks and use the legislation, which he likens to a — quote — "baseball bat."

The AUPE had been seeking a deal along the lines of six per cent wage hikes over two years.

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