RCMP vote to unionize

RCMP members across the country have voted to unionize.

The National Police Federation announced this week that its 18,000 members and reservists would begin collective bargaining with the federal government following a 97 per cent vote in favour of unionizing.

The march toward organizing a union has been on since 2015 when the Supreme Court of Canada found a rule prohibiting Mounties from collective bargaining was unconstitutional.

It will take some time for the fledgling union to get up and running, but one of the main bargaining points will be pay disparity with municipal police, said Brian Sauvé, co-chair of the federation. 

A first class constable from North Vancouver would be paid about $14,000 per year less than a Vancouver colleague of similar rank, Sauvé said.

“That’s kind of consistent across the Lower Mainland,” he said. “How much overtime do you have to work to make up that shortfall in order to provide quality of life for your family and how does that impact your work-life balance?”

Staffing levels are also a concern, Sauvé said, with RCMP members routinely having to come in early or stay late to file paperwork. And some members are also forced to transfer every five years, which makes the force less desirable.

Unionizing will likely mean the cost of policing will go up, though there is no predicting by how much, Sauvé acknowledged.

“It is an expense. There is no ifs, ands, or buts. Public safety comes at a cost,” he said. “But what do the citizens want? Do they want to attract the most qualified candidates? Do they want to retain those with experience? Or are they willing to pick those who go to the RCMP because they didn’t get hired by Toronto, Vancouver, OPP, Delta or New West?”

More Canada News

Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill Webcam
Recent Trending
Soft 103.9
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada