Between 1997 and 2006, the AUPE was rebuilt. While membership continued to decline in the early years of the decade, the framework conditions were finally reversed. A booming economy, facing a labour shortage, has improved the climate of organization and negotiation. AUPE has folded its collective muscles into illegal but effective work operations and has begun to gather an unprecedented number of new members through mergers and organization. In 1989, privatization and deregulation were booming, and the government was planning test balloons to privatize some of its key human services. Membership continued to decline, mainly due to cuts in public services, and AUPE faced significant debts, declining revenues and crippling construction costs. From the beginning, CSA leaders have made progress. In response to concerns about patronage, the government appointed a public service commissioner in 1923. They negotiated wages and working conditions through a joint advisory council set up that same year by the United Farmers government of Alberta. The years 1987 to 1996 were a difficult decade for AUPE – with layoffs and privatizations under the provincial government led by Prime Minister Ralph Klein. In the mid-1990s, AUPE had to deal with its membership due to the privatization of some public services during provincial management by Prime Minister Ralph Klein.
The number of members fell to about 35,000 in 1995. Under the leadership of Dan MacLennan, a Calgary prison guard elected in 1997, AUPE has rebuilt itself and has more than 60,000 members. MacLennan`s efforts were supported by a growing moderation in small government policy in the years following the cuts of the mid-1990s, as well as rapid economic growth and population growth in the province of Alberta. This unrest culminated on October 1, 1974, when 12,500 direct government employees took the job for two days because the government had arbitrarily imposed a wage increase six days before negotiations began. They won their point again and the government agreed to negotiate in good faith.