For Immediate release – March 20th, 2020
REGINA – The Public Service Alliance of Canada welcomes SaskGaming’s announcement that as of March 19th, 2020, the Crown Corporation has committed to paying all employees for the next two weeks. This pay will not come out of any sick or vacation banks. PSAC represents gaming workers at Casino Regina, Local 40005. This announcement comes after four days of constant pressure from PSAC-Prairies Regional Executive Vice-President’s (REVP) office and the local union. As the situation for COVID-19 is rapidly evolving, this decision will be reassessed in two weeks.
“We are thankful to hear that our lobbying efforts paid off and that SaskGaming has committed to support their workers during this extraordinary circumstance,” said Marianne Hladun, Regional Executive Vice-President for the Prairie region. “This is another example of workers being able to accomplish more together than they can alone. We will continue to work with Casino Regina and SaskGaming to ensure that workers are taken care of as they put the community’s safety before their own financial gain.”
Previously, Casino Regina employees were told that they would have to use their sick and vacation leave to cover any forced time off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The only additional support the employer committed to was the ability to advance workers’ sick and vacation leave for the next year. Once those banks were exhausted, workers would have been on their own.
“Workers want to go to work as normal, but we can’t realistically do that and keep the community safe during this public health emergency,” Michelle Lang, President of PSAC Local 40005. “My members are some of the lowest paid public sector workers in Saskatchewan. A commitment to two weeks regular pay for workers is a positive step forward given the circumstances.”
All full-time unionized (and non-unionized) employees will receive their regular pay for a period of two weeks. Part-time unionized (and non-unionized) employees will be paid an average of the hours worked in the previous three months. PSAC is seeking clarification on casual employees with the hope that they will receive the same approach as part-time workers. Since employees continue to be on the payroll, they will continue to access their benefits. This is particularly critical for people who require medication.
Representatives from PSAC’s REVP office and Local 40005 will participate in regular phone meetings with SaskGaming and Casino Regina to monitor the situation.