Loto-Quebec spent nearly $ 2 million in overtime in 2020-2021, even though casinos and gaming lounges were closed the vast majority of the time, Le Journal learned.
According to data obtained by the Access to Information Act, Loto-Québec paid 42,659 overtime hours last year, while thousands of workers – they were more than 4,200 in the fall – were without employment for several months.
It should also be remembered that Loto-Québec chose to pay the full salary, between March and June 2020, to its thousands of employees who were affected by the closure of gaming establishments, even if they were not at work.
In 2020-2021, support workers reaped the lion’s share of the total loot of $ 1.97 million in overtime. They shared $ 1.16 million. Professional staff received $ 758,521 and executives $ 55,423.
According to the Quebec director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, Renaud Brossard, Loto-Quebec should have made more use of its laid-off employees.
“We would like to congratulate Loto-Québec for having managed to spend $ 2 million with casinos closed for nine months. It is difficult to justify. “
When the establishments opened, traffic and the supply of games were also limited due to health measures.
By comparison, for the previous fiscal year, that is, before the arrival of COVID-19 on Quebec soil, the crown corporation had paid $ 6.2 million for overtime. All casinos and gambling halls are still closed.
Management states that its overtime expenses “are attributable to operational needs, mainly in information technology (need to equip staff for teleworking and to respond to the marked increase in customer service requests) “.
A 4.5% jump at the SAQ
In addition, at the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), whose branches have never stopped welcoming customers, overtime has jumped 4.5% to reach $ 15.77 million in 2020- 2021. A total of 446,798 more hours were paid.
Staff from the Union of Store and Office Employees of the SAQ pocketed $ 8.78 million. The number of overtime hours climbed 9%.
Employees of the Workers’ Union of the Société des alcools du Québec received $ 3.41 million, and employees of the Technical and Professional Staff Union received $ 2.93 million.
The rest of the bill was shared between executives ($ 602,647) and non-unionized staff ($ 36,830), according to data provided by the SAQ.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has generated an increase in overtime, in particular by the necessary replacement of employees having to be absent and thus ensure the continuity of our operations,” said spokesperson Yann Langlais Plante.
During the last fiscal year, excluding executives and senior management, IT specialists earned the highest salaries with overtime.
Management says five IT specialists shared $ 1.07 million in 2020, with overtime and various bonuses. Their combined base salary was $ 500,130.
- At Hydro-Québec, overtime amounted to $ 137.6 million in 2020. This is a decrease of $ 26.6 million.