400 people are preparing to walk away from their jobs as the SLGA’s remaining liquor stores begin to close.
However, the employees will be leaving with a severance package that’s predicted to cost the government millions of dollars.
After almost 2 months of negotiating, the province, SGEU, and the SLGA settled on a severance package for the hundreds of liquor store employees.
“It’s a little bit better than what the Saskatchewan Employment Act would have offered. The idea was to try to do a little bit better for the employees because they’re all losing their jobs with no bumping options,” says Bob Stadnichuk, Vice President of the SGEU.
The severance package under the Saskatchewan Employment Act would have offered employees one week’s worth of compensation for every year having worked with the company.
With this newly approved severance package, all employees who’ve worked one to 19 years will receive one week’s worth of pay for every year worked. For example, If you’ve worked there for eight years you’ll get eight weeks’ worth of pay.
Employees that have been with the company for 19 years or more will get two weeks’ worth of pay for every year worked. So, if an employee has worked for the company for 8 eight years they’ll get 16 weeks’ worth of pay.
For employees that have been with the SLGA for 30 years or more, they’ll receive 60 weeks’ worth of pay.
The severance package will be given to 400 employees. The exact price of how much the government will be spending on these severances wasn’t shared.
Stadichuk shares that the negotiations weren’t easy, “There were a lot of disagreements as to what the employees would be offered but primarily that’s because the government themselves have always had the control over what SLGA does.”
“The government of course wants to keep it as lowball as possible. They don’t want anybody to walk away with more than what they’re willing to give themselves. So, it was lower than what we thought,” says Stadichuk.
He adds that he feels as though the improved severance packages still don’t make up for the losses these employees are taking with the provincial shutdown of all SLGA liquor stores.
CKRM did reach out to the SLGA for comments and didn’t get a response.
SLGA liquor stores will begin closing at the start of February and they will all be closed by the end of March.