Loto-Québec Resumes Regular Operations After Ratifying New Union Deal

Written By Jose Colorado on September 26, 2022 - Last Updated on October 6, 2022
Loto-Quebec ratifies new deal with professional staff. Partners concluding deal and shaking hands in the presence of team members

Loto-Québec is back on track.

Details have emerged surrounding the new deal between the Crown corporation and its professional staff – represented by the Syndicat des professionnels du gouvernement du Québec (SPGQ) – ending a general work strike.

Amongst the juiciest are union members now only having to be present for four days per month at the workplace.

The deal – ratified on Sept.20 – was approved by 96% of the members and lasts until Dec. 31, 2027. Representatives for employees in information technology, communications, procurement, sales and marketing, finance, real estate and legal services participated in the negotiations.

Union rejects first offer by 72%; accepts second with 96% approval

SPGQ’s vice-president Guillaume Bouvrette – whose union declined Loto-Québec’s opening agreement in principle by 72% – said, via a statement, he was happy with the second iteration.

“We are pleased that the employer has improved its offer to the satisfaction of the members. I would like to thank our members for their comments, suggestions and participation. I also want to thank the bargaining team for their outstanding work in improving working conditions for members.

Loto-Québec, through its release, added:

“Loto-Quebec is satisfied to have been able to reach a responsible agreement with its professional employees, while meeting the main objectives of both parties.”

2% annual salary increases highlight of new collective agreement

According to its website, SPGQ is the largest professional staff union in Quebec and has represented more than 32,000 specialists.

SPGQ represented 455 workers in this case.

And while the four-day onsite requirement may be the most eye-catching detail, workers will now enjoy incremental wage increases and bonuses for the next six years.

Here’s how it will work:

  • 2% annual salary increases each year of the contract
  • 1% lump sum bonus of wages for 2022
  • 5% lump sum signing bonus
  • 5% lump sum bonus for 2022 (Paid on Jan.26, 2023)
  • 1% retention bonus per year in 2024, 2025

However, the largest payout belongs to 35 employees who will receive a one-time 10% bonus.

SPGQ and Loto-Québec define this as a “measure of attraction, retention and reinforcement of expertise.”

Work week to increase 2.5 hours per week

Flexible hours on location and salary increases come at a cost, though. To that end, the work week will increase from 35 hours to 37.5 per week.

Granted, there is a possibility to reduce that as a voluntary working time reduction program will be implemented to maintain a 35-hour working week.

Loto-Québec resumes Lotto 6/49, regular operations

With the strike now in the rearview, Quebec bettors can again enjoy the thrills of one of Canada’s most well-known lottery games – Lotto 6/49.

Recently 6/49 made sweeping changes to its play style to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The most significant difference is now a Gold Ball Jackpot draw that can exceed $60 million.

Unfortunately, Loto-Québec had to postpone its launch of the renewed version due to its pending strike at the time. However, it’s now all systems go; the first wave of tickets for the revamped 6/49 version dropped on Sept.21.

Loto-Québec releases first quarter results from 2022 – 2023

Coinciding with Loto-Québec’s return to work is the government agency releasing its financial numbers from the first quarter of the 2022 – 2023 fiscal year (April 1 – June 27, 2022).

Unsurprisingly, the Crown corporation saw huge jumps in revenue ($744.3 million, +85.5%) and consolidated net income ($446.5 million, +128.1%) from last year as COVID suspended many operations.

Loto-Quebec outperforms pre-pandemic numbers

More intriguing is the fact that Loto-Québec’s net income increased by $109.1 million (+32.4%) compared to its first quarter of the pre-pandemic year (2019 – 2020).

Overall, the total expenses to revenues ratio also dropped from 31.2% to 22.7% during this period.

Loto-Québec president and CEO Jean-Francois Bergeron said that a tight budget was the key to success via a statement.

“We’re pleased with our first-quarter results. We’ve exceeded our pre-pandemic levels and are in an excellent position due to tight spending controls, which can be challenging in times of high inflation such as these. These achievements are a result of the remarkable work put in by all our teams.”

Loto-Québec launches new phase of 100% Legal campaign

In addition to that, Loto-Québec also reported numerous other milestones including, but not limited to:

  • Revenue generated from video lottery terminals comparable to pre-pandemic levels
  • 19 new millionaires due to lottery prizes
  • Event betting is performing well mainly due to a 33.3% increase in online sales
  • Online casino revenues account for 24.3% of total casino and gaming hall revenues

However, one key point Bergeron highlighted – outside of the financial numbers – was his workplace’s commitment to legal betting.

“We launched a new phase of our 100% Legal campaign to remind people that lotoquebec.com is the only legal casino and sports betting website in Quebec. This campaign is part of our brand repositioning strategy and our effort to cement our place in the industry.

It also highlights our integrity and our responsible gambling practices, which are a great source of pride.”

Photo by Jacob Lund, Shutterstock / PlayCanada
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Jose Colorado

Jose Colorado is a British Columbia-based writer. He lives in Burnaby and loves sports, anime, writing, business and the occasional walk on the beach.

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