The Alberta Union of Provincial Employees has filed a statement of claim against the Alberta government over Bill 46, the controversial labour law which received royal assent on Wednesday.

Bill 46 will impose a wage settlement with a two-year pay freeze if AUPE fails to reach a negotiated agreement by the end of January. The bill also takes away the union's right to take disputes to an arbitration board. 

In a statement of claim filed in Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench on Thursday, the union seeks a declaration that the act is invalid and that sections of it infringe the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

The lawsuit also seeks costs and damages. 

AUPE president Guy Smith believes the courts will rule in favour of the union. 

“On the grounds that’s its unconstitutional, that Bill 46 denies our members basic rights to free collective bargaining and also, the fact in current labour legislation the arbitration process is our only legal route to resolve these problems," he said. 

The government has 20 days to file a statement of defence.