RCMP members’ grievance unresolved after twelve years

November 7th, 2013 Uncategorized

Upper management’s actions violate Core Values of the RCMP!

In June 2001, 19 members of a former RCMP unit in British Columbia launched a class action grievance with RCMP “E” Division after being denied Work Force Adjustment (WFA) when their section was dissolved. More than 90 members were affected across the province, but the Kamloops office was told there was no money for WFA or physical transfers so members would have to take whatever positions were available in Kamloops.

Twelve years later, the grievances remain unresolved and the original grievers have been reduced to four. On behalf of these members, the Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC) has contacted Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson to request that the grievance be resolved without further delay. The fact that this grievance is now into it’s 12th year without resolution flies in the face of theRCMP core values of integrity, honesty, professionalism, compassion, respect and accountability.

Work Force Adjustment was a policy to protect RCMP members in the event that a large number were affected by job cuts. The policy stated that affected members should be given the option to continue their careers according to their interests, strengths and seniority by being eligible for transfers to all vacant divisional positions and, if nothing was suitable, then all available national positions.

The Level I adjudication dated December 2005, more than four years after the grievance was filed, stated, “workforce adjustment will not be approved for a member… unless the member cannot be placed in any other position within the RCMP.” In light of the significant vacancies within “E” Division, WFA could not be justified. That being said, the Kamloops team was not given any option to look at the many vacancies because there were no dollars available for physical transfers.

In March 2007, a Level II decision ruled that the grievers were treated unfairly. Their grievances were sent back to “E” Division for correction. It was subsequently indicated that since the grievers had retired, they may have lost the right to grieve. An adjudicator’s ruling in 2012 on “standing” and “grievable matter” ruled in favour of the retired members; however, while awaiting a decision, the original grievance was destroyed.

In April 2013, MPPAC appealed to RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson on behalf of the four remaining grievers in the hope that he would address the concerns about RCMP “E” Division abuse of authority and finally resolve these outstanding issues. It has been twelve years of procrastination, dishonesty and going against the RCMP’s Core Values, and the Commissioner’s actions to date have not brought redress to these members.

Rae Banwarie, MPPAC president states, “This situation is professionally unacceptable and lacks integrity in process. It shows bias by members of RCMP ‘E’ Division upper management, and MPPAC and the affected members want accountability.” MPPAC is calling on the Public Safety Minister and the Commissioner to ensure that the senior managers be held accountable for their actions and that this matter be resolved immediately. The lack of prompt action and the cover-ups go against what this government is trying to accomplish today in bringing accountability and transparency to the forefront and rebuilding the trust in the RCMP.

The RCMP is currently the only police force in Canada not permitted to unionize. MPPAC was established in 2010 to fight for the right to engage in collective bargaining through an independent association on behalf of RCMP regular and civilian members across Canada. We strive for excellence in our conduct and obligations. We provide leadership to all of our membership, in affiliation with the Canadian Police Association, on justice issues which affects the quality of life of all Canadians. The Association does not seek or support the right to strike.

To learn more, visit www.mppac.ca.