EDMONTON – The union representing 9,000 school support workers is pleased with the Alberta government’s decision to build new schools in the traditional model, and abandon the so-called ‘public, private, partnership’ approach, but says the government ignored warnings the model wouldn’t work.CUPE Alberta President Marle Roberts said, “The P3 approach was doomed to fail.”
“The research on public private partnerships is clear – they cost more and they deliver less,” said Roberts. “Alberta needs new schools and the government’s stubbornness on this issue has delayed construction by at least a year.”
In October 2013, CUPE issued a study warning of the costs and other negative consequences of P3 school construction.
In April 2009, Alberta’s Auditor General concluded that savings from P3 schools were overstated by $20 million.
“The Conservatives have ignored these warnings, and taxpayers, students and communities have all suffered,” said Roberts. “It’s good that they are getting it right, but a little less arrogance and a little more listening to stakeholders and evidence would have prevented this mess from happening in the first place.”
The 2013 CUPE study on Alberta P3 schools can be found here: https://archive.cupe.ca/updir/P3AlbertaschoolsfullE.pdf