Increase applies to the period August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020
An independent arbitrator has awarded members at Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis a retroactive one percent pay increase for the period August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020.
As you know, your Collective Agreement had a “Wage Reopener” provision that allowed for arbitration if the employer and the union could not come to agreement on wages for the third year of your agreement. The parties failed to reach agreement and the matter was referred to arbitration last March.
At a joint hearing held in January (to decide the same matter for workers at Alberta Pensions Services Corp.), your employer argued for a two percent wage rollback despite acknowledging that their position had nothing to do with their ability to pay.
Clearly relying on marching orders from Jason Kenney’s UCP government, the employers sought punishing wage cuts. They submitted that the public sector was not as negatively affected by the recession and pandemic as the private sector, while acknowledging that the public sector also suffered significant job loss and decrease in income.
AUPE relied on recent arbitration awards that rejected employers’ demands for rollbacks and pushed for a one percent wage increase.
Your union argued that ensuring fair wages and benefits is in the public interest and pointed to the positive economic role public sector workers play in keeping the province’s economy going over these past difficult years.
In the end, Arbitrator David Tettensor agreed with the Union, writing “there were no cases or settlements in evidence supporting any rollback for 2019 - 2020.”
He concluded, “it is fair and reasonable to the Employees and Employers and in the best interest of the public to award a 1% increase as the general adjustment to wages in Year 3 of the terms of the respective Collective Agreements.”
Members can expect to see the retroactive pay on a future pay cheque. Any worker that was employed by AGLC after August 1, 2019 is entitled to retroactive pay even if their employment was subsequently terminated. These workers should contact the AGLC Human Resources Department as soon as possible in order to make arrangements to receive their pay.
Your negotiating team thanks members for their patience and extends congratulations on this well-deserved victory.