Issue #8 • May 15, 2009
Download this issue
Support your bargaining team: VOTE YES
The bargaining team for the Liquor Board Employees Division is
calling on all OPSEU members at the LCBO to get out and vote YES in the May
20-22 strike vote.
“We need everyone to get out and vote, and vote YES,” says Vanda
Klumper, chair of the OPSEU bargaining team. “The LCBO needs to know that OPSEU
members are committed to making gains in this round of negotiations, and the
best way to show that is with a big turnout and a high strike vote.”
After some 24 days at the bargaining table, the union team
reports no major progress in persuading the LCBO to adopt the proposals
supported by union members. Instead, the LCBO has tabled several takeaways.
Among them, the LCBO is demanding the right to lay off permanent full-time and
permanent part-time employees for periods of up to 90 days.
The LCBO has not accepted any of the union’s key proposals for
contract improvements for full-timers, part-timers, seasonals, or casuals.
OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas stressed that a YES vote
does not mean union members will automatically go on strike.
“Getting ahead in negotiations is all about bargaining power,”
Thomas said. “With a strong strike vote, we can bring home a strong collective
“A high vote with a high turnout can dramatically reduce the
need for strike action, simply because the employer will know without a doubt
that we have the power to take action if necessary.”
Details on the issues at stake in bargaining are available in
the May 8 Bargaining Bulletin, available online at
gainingbulletin/2009-bargaining-bulletin-may-8.htm . Until May 19, the union is also
holding information meetings around the province. The schedule for these
meetings, which will be attended by bargaining team members, is also available
on the OPSEU web site.
Decide when and where you will vote – visit the OPSEU web site
All OPSEU members at the LCBO should decide when and where
they will vote well before voting begins.
“Many vote locations are open for only one day out of the three,
so it is very important that members have a plan before voting begins,” said
Exact times and locations for the strike vote are available
The ballot question
The ballot question for the May 20-22 strike vote has been
finalized. Voters will be asked to check YES or NO, as follows:
YES: I authorize the Bargaining Team to call a strike if
necessary in order to achieve an acceptable collective agreement.
NO: I do not authorize the Bargaining Team to call a
What is the LCBO hiding?
OPSEU files Labour Board charge over missing financial data
It’s a mystery, all right.
For years, the LCBO has provided Ontario taxpayers with a full
annual report on its operations. Usually, the report comes out in August.
The report that was due in 2008 has never been released..
We know some highlights of the 2007-08 fiscal year because the
LCBO issued a news release on May 21, 2008. In that release, the LCBO said its
dividend to Queen’s Park was $1.345 billion, not counting an extra $382 million
the province earned in sales tax on LCBO sales.
But the full 2007-08 annual report has never appeared.
May 21, 2008 was the last news release from the LCBO that
mentioned the dividend to the province. Before that date, the LCBO had been
issuing a news release every month or two, bragging about how much money it was
sending to the province.
Then the news releases stopped.
“The LCBO stopped boasting about its dividends to the province
at the same time as last year’s pre-bargaining conference of the Liquor Board
Employees Division,” notes OPSEU Senior Researcher Joyce Hansen. “I think the
LCBO is concealing financial data because it doesn’t want the union to know just
how strong its profits are.”
In 2009, the LCBO told the Minister of Finance that its profits
would be up 2.6 per cent for 2008-09 but down 6.0 per cent for 2009-10. Both
figures are unbelievable, Hansen says.
“Despite the recession, we know from LCBO internal
publications that sales are up from a year ago,” she said. “They’re hiding
“We want to see their current numbers as well as their real
projections for future income.”
Last Friday, OPSEU filed an unfair labour practice charge
against the LCBO at the Ontario Labour Relations Board. (Under Ontario law,
employers are supposed to disclose financial data to unions in bargaining.)
“The LCBO is actually withholding information not only from the
union but from the people of Ontario as well,” said Hansen. “We want audited
financial statements and the full annual report, not vague statements about the
overall state of the Ontario economy.”
OPSEU’s Labour Board charge also calls on the LCBO to give the
union key information about health benefit premiums. So far, the employer has
For more information about this round of bargaining between the
LCBO and OPSEU, visit
Manager salaries jump
Data published under the Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act –
the “Sunshine List” – show that LCBO managers are doing very well, indeed.
CEO Bob Peter has really come up in the world. Seven years ago,
Peter earned just over $211,000. By 2008, his salary had more than doubled,
hitting $431,603 (not counting taxable benefits). The biggest part of the jump
came in the last two years. From 2006 to 2008, Peter’s salary increased by 45
Not counting Bob Peter, the nine other LCBO managers making more
than $200,000 in 2008 received wage increases ranging from 33 to 80 per cent
between 2002 and 2008. The average increase was 49 per cent.
Wage increases for full-time union members at the LCBO averaged
20 per cent from 2002 to 2008. The Consumer Price Index (inflation) was up 13.3
per cent over that period.
Managers work full time, all year round. In contrast, 60 per
cent of unionized LCBO staff are casuals with no guarantee of hours. And if the
LCBO has its way at the bargaining table, permanent full-time and part-time
workers will also be at risk of reduced income during short-term layoffs.
In the LCBO’s vision, not one bargaining unit worker will have a
guaranteed, year-round, full-time job. But managers will be doing just fine.
Meet your mobilizers!
OPSEU mobilizers are your co-workers at the LCBO. They’re the
direct link between you and your bargaining team. The following people are
assigned as mobilizers in the OPSEU locals indicated.
Guy Jeremschuck: Local 162
Dave Holmes: Local 1633
Mike Robertson: Local 164
Mike Sullivan: Local 165
Bonnie Jolley: Local 284
Paula Sossi: Local 285
Deb Altoft: Local 286
Shawn Swayze: Local 287
Matt Savelli: Local 287
Frank Gullace: Local 288
Maria Bauer: Locals 375, 3766
Doug Parks: Locals 377, 378
Eileen Allen: Local 379
Terri Taylor: Locals 497, 498
Devon Ford: Locals 499, 4100
Kevin Ramsay: Locals 5107, 5110
Roberto Ianni: Locals 5108, 5111
Craig Hadley: Locals 5109, 5110,
Mellisa Jackson: All Locals in
OPSEU Region 6
Anne Makela: All Locals in Region
Your bargaining team
The OPSEU bargaining team for the
Liquor Board Employees Division consists of seven members:
Vanda Klumper, Chair, OPSEU Local
Denise Davis, Vice-Chair, Local
Dora Robinson, Local 376
Tracy Vyfschaft, Local 377
Lori Davis, Local 499 firstname.lastname@example.org
Colleen MacLeod, Local 5107
Laurie Miller, Local 682
The bargaining team is assisted by
OPSEU Senior Negotiator Rob Field, Senior Researcher Joyce Hansen, and other
As negotiations pick up speed, make it your priority to stay on
top of bargaining news.
1. Attend upcoming bargaining information meetings (see listing
on the OPSEU web site at
2. Receive this bargaining bulletin (and our regular
newsletter, the Echo) directly by e-mail. Just call OPSEUdirect at
1-800-268-7376 or (416) 443-8888 and give the operator your name and e-mail
3. Bookmark the address at
www.opseu.org/lbed/collective.htm on the OPSEU website to learn more
about what’s happening inside the Liquor Board Employees Division.
EAP Hotline: 1-800-263-1401
The LCBO Employee Assistance Program is a confidential,
hassle-free counseling service for eligible LCBO employees and their immediate
families. For assistance, call 1-800-263-1401. To find out more about the
Your 2009 Bargaining Bulletin is
authorized for distribution by:
Vanda Klumper, Chair,
Liquor Board Employees Division
Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President, OPSEU
Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Download this issue