Gateway Casino - Temporary work schedules to be reviewed at end of May

February 20, 2009

Union and Gateway agree on process and timelines to manage new work schedules.

Representatives of the BCGEU met today with senior management team of Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Inc. [Gateway] to outline our concerns related to the new work schedules being implemented and to propose some actions that would assist affected workers through this difficult period. Attending on behalf of Gateway was Christine Maassen, Linda Pavan and Darcy Romanin. Representing the workers was Craig Proctor, Bargaining Committee member, Nic Kirby, Staff Representative and Jeff Fox, BCGEU Director.

The Union outlined a number of concerns that had been brought forward by members related to the new work schedules. How long will the new "temporary" work schedules be in effect for? How come some employees have had no reduction in hours and other have? How come some junior employees seem to have been given first selection on some work schedules? What role has seniority played in the selection process?

The Gateway representatives stated at the outset that they were committed to working with the Union and to ensuring that the new work schedules were done fairly. They also stated that it is their hope that they will be able to restore the lost hours after the opening of the new hotel and convention center. The Employer listened carefully to the various issues raised by the Union and provided answers where possible, and committed to providing full responses to our queries when the parties meet again on Monday.

Coming out of the meeting the parties agreed to the following actions:

  • The Parties agreed that the new work schedules will be reviewed completely at the end of May with the hope that lost hours can be restored based on the anticipated business growth arising from the opening of the new hotel and convention center.
  • The parties will meet again on Monday, Feb. 23rd to review a summary list of all bargaining unit employees and her\his start date, classification and hours lost under the new schedule. In addition, a detailed briefing will be provided on the new work schedules and its implications by department. Further, the employer will provide full responses to the issues raised today.
  • The Employer agreed to work to ensure that senior employees are not disproportionately affected by the new work schedules.
    The parties also agreed to establish Ombudspersons from the Union and Employer to provide on-site support to workers who have questions about the new work schedules, investigate any complaints, render their finding and make any recommendations to resolve the matter. If the matter cannot be resolved it shall be referred to the principles.

Today's meeting did not solve all our issues. Nor did it eliminate the employer's decision to implement staff reductions. But it did provide an important first step towards ensuring that our members have a fuller understanding of the process, an avenue to raise concerns and confidence that their concerns will be addressed promptly. Remember. Ignore the rumours, get the facts.