I am writing in response to an anonymous letter from an OLG employee posted by Sault Online on July 29, 2016. I would like to clarify some key points in the letter, namely wage increases and employee travel expenses.
Last year, OLG returned more than $2 billion to the Province of Ontario for important funding priorities such as the operation of hospitals and other health care initiatives.
We directly employ more than 7,000 people across Ontario and take pride in our presence in communities from Thunder Bay to Niagara Falls. We treat our employees with respect, and that includes fair compensation.
Since 2010, OLG unionized employees in twenty bargaining units have received one or more wage increases. In 2015, non-union OLG employees received their first wage increase in five years. Despite this increase, there continued to be a wage gap for many non-union employees relative to some of their unionized peers working in the same or similar jobs at OLG.
That is why I am pleased that OLG was able to provide a wage increase for about 3,400 non-union employees effective March 2016. Even with this increase, in some cases, wages for non-unionized employees lag those of union employees.
As a public sector employer, OLG must also act with fiscal prudence. As a result, the 1.75% wage increase will be fully offset by cost savings, requiring no new costs for the Province.
The letter also notes that the recently announced wage increase does not apply to certain unionized staff.
Like any employer, OLG is bound by provincial labour laws. These require that any increase for unionized employees must be negotiated with their union.
We respect the collective bargaining process and look forward to timely resolution of current labour talks.
In closing, I would like to clarify remarks in the letter about travel expenses.
Our Travel, Meal and Hospitality policy expressly prohibits approval of claims of a personal nature. We file all travel expenses for Senior Executive and Board members with the Office of the Integrity Commissioner of Ontario. We then post these expenses on our website for public scrutiny.
These are just some examples of the transparency and accountability standards we uphold as a provincial Crown Agency.
As the largest non-tax revenue generating agency in Ontario, we contribute to the quality of life of the Province. We wouldn’t be able to make this contribution without the dedication of our valued employees.
President and CEO
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation