New Agreements Ratified at Ontario Lottery and Gaming

August 10, 2011, 1:45 PM EST

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CAW members working for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming commission at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Sudbury Downs and Brantford Casino overwhelmingly ratified new collective agreements on July 17.

The union represents approximately 1000 workers at three separate bargaining units in Toronto, Sudbury and Brantford, each with its own collective agreement. The three bargaining committees came together at a master bargaining table starting the last week of June and continued joint negotiations until a tentative agreement was reached on July 14.

The new deals will run for four years. Each agreement includes lump sum payouts in years one and two, followed by hourly rate increases of 2.5 per cent in years three and four.  In addition, the agreement improves existing contract language that enhances seniority rights and improves working conditions. The union also negotiated an increase in the number of full-time jobs at all three locations and a new joint Women's Advocate program, among other contract gains.

Union members voted 87 per cent in favour of the new deal in Brantford, 87 per cent in Sudbury and 91 per cent in Toronto.

The strong endorsement by our members of these new agreements marks a positive end to a challenging round of negotiations, said CAW Brantford Casino Chairperson Dave Reston.

"The bargaining environment in Ontario right now is challenging, and it has been for the past two or three years," Reston said. "The fact we were able to hammer out a quality agreement, with a tough employer, is a testament to the hard work of our bargaining committee and the support of our members."

The agreement makes progress on a number of important issues for union members, said CAW Local 598 President Richard Paquin.

"Not only does this deal take an important step forward in clarifying the protocols and procedures for our members, it's also an important step forward in our fight for greater job security and quality of life improvements, which have been long overdue," Paquin said.

At 91 per cent, ratification results were the highest ever recorded for Woodbine security workers in Toronto and that's good news for members as we look to the future, said CAW Woodbine Security Unit Chairperson Henry Kosiak.

"I'm optimistic that this contract will set the stage for a more engaged membership, and even greater contract gains down the line," Kosiak said. "Gaming workers in Ontario, and across Canada, have their own unique sets of challenges that need to be addressed. The union's proven they have the right tools to make that happen."

OLG workers in Brantford, Sudbury and Toronto are represented by CAW locals 504, 598 and 252, respectively. The union represents over 800 members at the Brantford Casino, working in various departments including slots, table games, food and beverage, cage and coin, and others, as well as 140 security workers in Toronto and 70 cage and coin cashiers, slot technicians, slot attendants, housekeepers, player services representatives and count team members in Sudbury.

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