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A Unionized RCMP?: Nothing to Fear

Mar 02

The nightly news recently reported that groups of RCMP members were in front of the Supreme Court of Canada, lobbying for the right to choose the manner in which they wish to associate, and for the right to bargain collectively.  This item set “Twitter” ablaze with negative comments; everything from making it more difficult to fire “bad apples” to fear of the national police service having the right to strike.

In this brief article, I would like to address those who oppose the RCMP having the right to form a members’ association.  If you read this blog you are familiar with my position, that the only thing that will save the RCMP is transformational change.  The formation of an RCMP association for its members would be part of that kind of turn-around change.

In my opinion if the Force wishes to become a 21st Century police service, it will have to improve the working lives of its members and assist its managers in regaining the lost confidence of much of the Canadian public.  I would go so far as to say that I doubt whether the organization can be rehabilitated without the formation of a members’ association.  Attempts at change e.g. “change management”, “continuing improvement”, “respectful workplace”, and “culture of trust” have all looked good but have failed to change the members’ day to day work lives in any meaningful way.  The lawsuits from abused and mistreated members and former members just keep on coming, and the morale of the organization continues to plummet.

I’m sure many of you have heard me refer to the RCMP as the Wal-Mart of policing.  Much of the Force’s morale problem can be accounted for by understaffing.  The organization’s tasks far outstrip its resources.  If those who (under) staff detachments across the country didn’t voluntarily donate their overtime, for even just one day, the organization would be unable to meet its mandate.  The rank and file of the RCMP are overworked; their jobs not only put them under significant levels of stress, but also make them sick.  And all of this contributes to the instances of poor performance that the public uses to erode its confidence.  All the public sees are the Dziekanskis, the Bushes, the St. Arnauds, and the Matters incidents without appreciating the back story.

A problem of equal, or perhaps greater, magnitude that must be dealt with is RCMP culture.  This “culture of fear” will not be undone by hooking up with a group of human resources professionals who are ignorant of RCMP history and dysfunction and parading them around Green Timbers (“E” Division Headquarters) for an evening.  The Force has long been run by decree and plagued with xenophobic cultism.  After 100 plus years of practice, this is not a stench that is easily washed away and replaced by values consistent with distributive justice, respect, equality, and caring.

Distributive justice (fairness) is a foreign concept to RCMP executives and its senior management.  The Force has its roots proudly in a military tradition (see my letter to the Hons. Judy Sgro and Grant Mitchell) and refuses to let go.  Thus the organization’s senior executive/management have almost always preferred to rule arbitrarily (at their discretion) on things like promotion and discipline.  I’m sure most of you have scratched your heads in amazement at promotional decisions made in your case or someone’s close to you; or perhaps wondered aloud how one sexually misbehaving member was fired and another slapped on the wrist and transferred?

Those who oppose the formation of an RCMP members’ association often cite the existence of the Division Staff Relations Representative Program (DSRRP), suggesting that it represents the membership.  What they don’t know is that the DSRRP was imposed upon the members, in 1974 by Commissioner Nadon during a period of labour unrest, to prevent the formation of a union/association.  The DSRRs (while they may be well meaning) are caught in a hopeless conflict of interest; they owe their jobs to their RCMP bosses.  It doesn’t take much to imagine a DSRR professing to represent a member whose complaint involves someone who can influence the former’s career.  Or, how would you explain the DSRRs spending the membership’s legal fund monies to lobby against the formation of an RCMP Association that could only benefit the members?  Does this sound like “members first” to you?

Those members of the RCMP who balk at the thought of an independent association often query, “Do you mean I would have to pay dues?”  The crux of the conflict of interest that the impotent DSRRs find themselves in is that their salaries are paid by the RCMP, and that they can be promoted if they manage to be re-elected.  It’s not difficult to recognize the inconsistency in being paid (and promoted) by one master and trying to serve another.  Wasn’t it your mother who told you, “You get what you pay for”?  The answer to the ill-informed question above is, “of course you will pay dues”.  And in return for your dues you will (finally) get an association representative who has (temporarily) removed him/herself from the organization, from his/her career progression, and is paid by you to represent you.  Your association representative cannot be seduced by job certainty, promotion, or salary because he/she is paid by you.  What’s that you say Mom?

There is one more point that those in the public who fear an RCMP association often raise.  “Doesn’t the RCMP already have in place grievance and harassment processes?”  The first point I will raise here is that in the RCMP it is never a good career move to complain about the organization or more specifically about someone who can “reach out and touch you”.  Consequently, as it stands within the RCMP today, I would venture to say that the grievances that are made are only the tip of the iceberg; the majority suffer in silence!  The second point I will raise is that to lodge a grievance in the RCMP is somewhat akin to complaining to the “man in the moon” and expecting a response.  (Before I was declared “persona non grata” by the RCMP in 2012, I had a patient who was waiting on dispositions on grievances made in 2002!).

Taking into consideration what is noted above, an RCMP members’ association would assist not only the membership’s health and well being, but also improve the service provided to the Canadian public.  Canadians needn’t fear that it would be made more difficult for management to fire or discipline in an efficient manner.  Even though lacking agility, the RCMP Code of Conduct did have the provisions to fire misbehaving members.  It also had loopholes that allowed senior executive/management to make arbitrary decisions.  The Harper Government’s response to this has been to push through Parliament a draconian piece of labour legislation that will give RCMP senior executives/management increased power to fire members; and will set the Force’s labour-management relations back 100 years.

A police union/association is not an impediment to the organization’s senior executive/managers serving their community well.  Most police chiefs across the country would tell you that a union/association brings order to what could be chaos.  In a union/association environment the union and management are forced to cobble a set of rules that are clear and fair to all.  Many of these documents are “living agreements” that are visited regularly with the expectation of change on both sides.  In contrast to the RCMP’s “rule by fiat” style of labour-management relations, a negotiated agreement will result in less “dark hearted” behaviour on both sides as the consequences are clearly defined.  Moreover, disputes will be settled by objective parties; members will be represented by an independent union/association agent not a hopelessly compromised DSRR.

The Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC), the largest group of associated members, recognizes that policing is an essential service.  The right to strike is not part of MPPAC’s platform.  I believe that every police service across Canada is unionized; can you recall the last time you saw a police service go on strike?  In those rare instances where a police service struck, they were simply legislated back to work as an essential service.  I will repeat:  MPPAC does not seek the right to strike.

If you read this blog you are familiar with all the surveys, reviews, investigations, and studies that have supported the fact that most members below the level of management, in the RCMP, view it as not only an unfair place to work, but often an unsafe place to work.  The creation of an RCMP association would  break the senior executive’s/management’s stranglehold on the membership and open the organization to public scrutiny.  For decades no one has been watching the senior members of the RCMP.  They have had to answer to no one.  They have run amok through the Force, and have operated with absolute impunity.  No one, disappointingly not even their federal government masters, has shone a light into upper management’s cushy little fiefdom.  The King, his Princes, and Princesses, are not required to tell anyone what they are doing or how they do it; and they get right “pissy” when asked, by the peons, to explain themselves.

The Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada wants nothing more than to end the oppressive and unjust treatment of RCMP members; in the belief that a healthier and happier membership will be able to better serve the Canadian public.  Canadian citizens and those members, who hesitate when they hear of the potential for RCMP members to associate/unionize, have nothing to fear.  All work has dignity; all work deserves respect.  And the people, who perform it, also deserve respect.  When the members of the RCMP are treated with respect, we will all win.

Dr. Mike Webster, R.Psych.

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19 Comments
  1. mixer permalink

    Well I was again surprised to see that the Atlantic News did not pickup on this story.
    I’ve been a member for 26 yrs, I agree that we need somebody ( Association, Union ) call it what you want. This group would be able to speak for us,represent us, and petition the government for ALL the Members, Employees of the RCMP.
    Presently we cannot even request a decent wage increase, or preserve the benefits that we HAD.
    Will a Union make it easier ? I don’t know, can it be Worse? Again I don’t know.

    What I do know, is we need to cut out the MIDDLE MEN… in our Negotiating Process. We work for the TREASURY BOARD, NOT the RCMP. So why do we have to ask the Commissioner and SEC for their support before going to the Treasury Board for a request. How long did it take for us to get a simple pair of decent PANTS ? Our DSRRP try, but their hands are tied in what they can do.

    Before we decide to replace them we need to Know If the Treasury Board recognize our Union, Association to sit down and bargain with or will they be like WALMART. and not recognize it. Will HARPER order them to circumvent us again. Will he pass another law preventing wage Increase because the Government does not have enough money. If our Government is so badly broke …. then maybe they should: STOP GIVEN TO OTHER COUNTRIES. We do not want to STRIKE, we want to be like any other Canadian, the right to be represented, the right to have our Employer to be forced to follow the Canadian Labour Code, Labour ACT. If a member is INJURED because of a Job related Injury that prevents him from returning to work. He should NOT be penalized the should get FULL PENSION. Because these Members gave THEIR FULL.

  2. Catman permalink

    Labour unions were created out of necessity and go back as far as colonial times. I studied about unions in university and although I understood why they were beneficial I wasn’t a fan. I was young then and the world seemed so much more idealic. I didn’t see what was so hard about an employer creating a satisfying and healthy workplace for their employees. But, fast forward a few decades…and now that I have real life experience in policing and having dealt with the politics like we do, I am all for the protection of a union. Just look at the Municipal police forces, they’re all unionized. The Municipal members I know are happy with their unions and their morale is embarassingly much higher than ours. I find it sad that it’s so obvious too.
    There may have been a time that the RCMP did not require a union…but that’s when we were serious about being a service. Unfortunately we have rolled over and evolved into a business. Now the focus and priorities are on power and money. (ie., CONTROL). Nobody cares anymore about how you displayed compassion towards the “clients” you dealt with. All they care about is that the call is concluded and you are off to the next. No manager’s ever take the time to talk to you about your shift, your strengths, your weaknesses, how you felt about a particular file or how you managed to deal with a challenging one. They just don’t care. It’s a numbers game to them…the human element no longer exists. No one gives you a pat on the back if you used your skills to de-escalate a situation thus decreasing the risk of injury(saving the force public embarassment, etc). And no one gives a rat’s ass if you took 19 of the 24 calls that day…no one monitors that stuff. They are just happy that you are taking all those calls because someone has to. They don’t see that you are slowly burning out, and they don’t care. After all, you are being paid to do this so don’t complain.
    I remember in one speech by Paulson he said something like “what do you members expect, a pat on the back?” Well yeah! It doesn’t have to be a pat on the back literally, but just to know that you care about us and the work we do would restore the sense of pride members take in themselves and in their work. But there is none of that. So what does that say? (Again, poor leadership).
    Anyway, back to the union…sadly I feel we are in a day and age in the RCMP where a union is absolutely necessary. It is all about protection now. The RCMP isn’t a stable work environment anymore and the level of trust that members have for management has disintegrated. So, short of calling Ghost Busters I believe a union is in order.
    I totally agree with what Dr. Webster says in this post.

  3. EFAMIA permalink

    If we don’t have an opportunity to choose an association we can expect more of the same non-sense below.

    *****************************************************************************************************************************
    Blueprint 2020/Champions/February 2014 report/Royal Canadian Mounted Police

    March 5, 2014

    Ms. Louise Levonian

    Chair

    Sub-Committee on Public Service Engagement

    Dear Ms. Levonian:

    It is my pleasure to provide you with the final progress report from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) on Blueprint 2020.

    As Canada’s national police force, the RCMP is committed to being a progressive, proactive and innovative organization, providing the highest quality service through dynamic leadership, education and technology in partnership with the diverse communities we serve, being accountable and efficient through shared decision-making, ensuring a healthy work environment that encourages team building, open communication and mutual respect and promoting safe communities.

    In an effort to continuously evolve and seek improvements to our organization, we are, by extension, committed to the objectives laid out in Blueprint 2020. Below is a summary of what we continue to hear from our Blueprint consultations, organized in response to your three questions.

    What steps have you taken since your interim progress report to continue to engage employees in this process?

    As part of our commitment to continue engaging employees across the country and internationally, the RCMP utilized Force-wide broadcasts to seek the views and feedback of employees. These broadcasts were sent to advise employees of key milestones in the Blueprint 2020 process, including the release of the RCMP’s interim report and the Clerk’s interim report entitled, What We’ve Heard: Blueprint 2020 Summary Interim Progress. The broadcasts sought to further inform employees of the Blueprint 2020 process and offer them a chance to provide contributions and feedback. The RCMP has made efforts to ensure that our engagement efforts reach out, and are accessible, to all employees.

    In addition to the broadcasts, in December 2013, the RCMP Blueprint 2020 Champion, Ms. Rennie Marcoux, Chief Strategic Policy and Planning Officer, briefed the National Labour Management Consultative Committee on Blueprint 2020 objectives and RCMP engagement efforts. This Committee comprises all unions representing Public Service employees at the RCMP. Members of the RCMP’s Blueprint 2020 team also briefed the National Advisory Committee Champion for Persons with Disabilities on the status of Blueprint 2020 engagement efforts. Furthermore, the RCMP Blueprint 2020 Champion and other executives participated in executive engagement sessions in Ottawa and across Canada at various federal/provincial councils.

    The RCMP continues to monitor its special purpose email address, which was set up to receive employee input. The GCPedia community for Blueprint 2020 continues to be monitored as employees are encouraged to use it to share their views and perspectives. The RCMP’s interim summary report has been viewed just over 4000 times in both of Canada’s official languages.

    What is your way forward, and towards what destination? What is already underway?

    As I noted in our interim report on the Blueprint 2020 initiative, the RCMP deliberately continues to seek opportunities to align its efforts with Blueprint 2020 and that of our current transformation agenda underway within the organization. Specifically, the RCMP continues to advance two priority initiatives: modernizing our human resources model, including implementing the recommendations included in the Gender and Respect Action Plan and implementing the provisions of the new Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act.

    The RCMP will continue to aggressively pursue its transformation agenda to modernize the organization’s approach to accountability, management and leadership and to refocus on the primacy of the RCMP’s operational mandate at the federal level and with our contract partners. As initially identified in the interim summary report, I am pleased to report that the RCMP’s transformation efforts continue to align with the five areas of focus to support the guiding principles of Blueprint 2020. The following are examples of what the RCMP is doing under each of these areas of focus.

    People management

    The RCMP continues to emphasize its commitment to providing a continuum of leadership training and development at every step of an employee’s career. I noted in the interim report that the RCMP has created and rolled out a suite of programs aimed at developing our new supervisors, managers and executive leaders. These are results oriented programs anchored in ethical leadership and principled actions. They set the bar for our future leaders and our expectations for their performance and accountability, very much in line with the Clerk’s vision of building a capable, confident and high-performing workforce.

    Furthermore, the RCMP has implemented an Automated Talent Management tool to enhance our approach to human capital management. This tool will provide me and my senior executive committee with a comprehensive understanding of our human resource management, as it relates to the organizations senior officers and executives, which applies a common lens on learning, development and performance management.

    Innovative practices and networking

    In the Fall of 2013, the Index of Policing Initiatives was launched by Public Safety Canada as the first searchable database of its kind and contains innovative initiatives submitted by police services and various levels of government from across Canada. As part of the first round of submissions, the RCMP was a major contributor to the Index by providing 22 best practices and was noted as a partner in 24 initiatives submitted by other organizations, including other police services. Initiatives were included because they have been successful in helping to make police services more effective and efficient.

    The Index of Policing Initiatives is organized under the three pillars of the Economics of Policing, namely:

    • efficiencies within police services;

    • new models of community safety; and

    • efficiencies within the justice system.

    This tool was created to provide access to members of the policing community, governments, academics and all Canadians to initiatives that contribute to the evolution and sustainability of policing in Canada. The Index aims to help police services learn from one another’s best practices and is designed to constantly evolve and expand. New initiatives and updates will be added on an ongoing basis in order to ensure that it remains an up-to-date and useful tool.

    As part of its ongoing support of the Index, the RCMP has provided 20 additional submissions from divisions and business lines across the country. The RCMP is committed to sharing information on its innovative business practices to support the achievement of efficiencies in other police forces across the country.

    Fundamentals of public service

    In line with the Blueprint 2020 interim report, the priorities outlined in RCMP’s Professional Ethics Strategic Plan, Strong Ethics, Strong Organization, support the Government of Canada’s commitment towards an accountable and ethical organization. The Professional Ethics Strategic Plan recognizes that ethical principles are an integral part of all aspects of the RCMP’s service delivery to Canadians and is reflective of the balance between what the organization has been doing and where we need to go.   As I mentioned in the RCMP’s interim progress report, as part of this Plan, the Professional Climate Survey was distributed to all RCMP employees. The Survey established a baseline to gauge the professional environment within the organization. More specifically, the survey results provide benchmark data that will help identify what is working well and areas where we can improve to encourage a more professional and respectful workplace. The survey also builds on the work underway as part of the Gender and Respect Action Plan by establishing a baseline at the outset to determine any impact the Plan initiatives have on employees’ perceptions of accountability, respect, engagement and communications.

    In addition to addressing gender inequalities within the RCMP, the Gender and Respect Action Plan provides an outline for the ongoing transformation of the RCMP. It is organized around two core organizational pillars; the culture and the composition of the RCMP. A total of 37 specific actions are outlined, including performance measures and milestones to assist in monitoring progress. For example, the Force is committed to increasing the number of female police officers, as well as the number of women enrolled at the RCMP’s Training Academy. As of February 2014, the RCMP has implemented 23 of the 37 initiatives.

    Lastly, I would like to note that diversity and inclusion in the workplace has become a key organizational pillar in policing agencies across Canada. As we continue to strive to build a more welcoming, respectful workplace, we will become a more innovative and cutting-edge police force which in turn will help us achieve our ultimate goal of keeping Canadians safe. The RCMP’s Diversity Campaign, held in all RCMP divisions across the country in January 2014, engaged employees of the RCMP in moving the organization forward in terms of further developing a culture that embraces diversity and reflects our Canadian society. The Campaign is one of many steps taken by the RCMP to create an inclusive culture among our workforce, a Public Service for the future.

    Technology

    The RCMP has taken a number of steps to streamline processes and procedures. For instance, the RCMP is enhancing its use of Business Intelligence processes and technologies to improve its abilities to transform raw data into meaningful and useful information in support of business decisions. The use of business intelligence in the RCMP represents a multi-year approach to deliver valuable, accurate and timely information nationally, enabling informed decision making, at all levels. Business Intelligence has the potential to provide one-stop access to performance management related activities at the strategic, operational and tactical levels and to automate reporting to demonstrate accountability to Canadians, Government and our partners.

    Processes and empowerment

    The RCMP recently launched the Internal Communications Toolkit, designed to assist RCMP employees in improving their communications skills. The online toolkit is also accompanied by a training session for managers on effective ways of communicating and engaging their staff. To date, more than 500 managers have been trained and an additional 200 managers are scheduled to be trained this fiscal year. The RCMP’s Internal Communications Toolkit and Training Program won the 2013 International Association of Business Communicators Gold Quill Award of Excellence.

    How will you continue to engage employees to move the Public Service forward to the Blueprint 2020 vision?

    The RCMP will continue to utilize Force-wide broadcasts to inform its employees of key milestones and to continue to solicit their input regarding both internal transformation initiatives as well as the forthcoming Blueprint 2020 Action Plan.

    The RCMP remains committed to the Blueprint 2020 initiative. We look forward to seeing how the forthcoming Action Plan incorporates the vision and guiding principles laid out by the Clerk for the future of the Public Service of Canada. Once released, the RCMP will share the Action Plan with employees to inform them of the progress that has been made to date and seek to further engage employees on how the RCMP should move forward on Blueprint 2020.

    The RCMP will continue to work to ensure that the Blueprint 2020 initiatives continue to align with the activities and initiatives we are implementing to evolve the culture of the RCMP, diversify our composition to better reflect Canadian society, modernize our management and programs and build for the future.

    We look forward to reviewing the Blueprint 2020 Action Plan and to continuing to positively contribute to this process and its outcomes.

    Yours sincerely,

    Bob Paulson

    Commissioner

    • mixer permalink

      Call me Slow but what is Mr Paulson letter doing in the thread about Union.

    • The Old NCO permalink

      As Canada’s national police force, the RCMP is committed to being a progressive, proactive and innovative organization, providing the highest quality service through dynamic leadership, education and technology in partnership with the diverse communities we serve, being accountable and efficient through shared decision-making, ensuring a healthy work environment that encourages team building, open communication and mutual respect and promoting safe communities.

      Well, folks, that is why they made him the Commissioner. Lots of words but no substance. Blueprint 2020. Look here, doesn’t that make you feel secure with putting your life on the line every time you go out on patrol?

      Yep, he is a real leader. Looks great with all those medals, commanding from behind the front lines. I am sure he has the best interest of all you working police officers on his mind daily. If you can believe that, he probably has a good deal on some land in Florida for you too.

      After reading his spiel, I can’t help but think, I’ve seen this movie before.

      • Catman permalink

        I was pretty much in shock while reading that very paragraph. “Dynamic leadership” Wha? Really? Where? I almost had to look behind me just to be sure it hadn’t snuck up on me while I wasn’t watching. And “education”? I guess if you call finding time to come in off your shift to complete a 10 minute “module” on the computer, then I guess you could say we are being educated. What ever happened to the good old days when the force was serious about training, and invested in it’s members? They used to give us the proper training we needed, in classrooms and being taught by ‘real’ people. People who had experience and knowledge and were well qualified to teach. Sure, I know it comes down to money, but you cannot compare the two methods of educating/training a member…not even close. Obviously education/training was NOT a priority.
        “Shared decision making”? Ummm…No. Nobody EVER wanted to hear a good idea come from a member’s mouth because information is power…and if a senior officer didn’t think of it, then it wasn’t a good idea. No manager wants to hear a good idea from a Constable. It agitates them. Sure, they say they do surveys to get input and ideas from members…but did you ever wonder what they do with that information? It’s probably sitting high up on a shelf in a cardboard box covered in dust right next to the Brown Report. I remember going out of my way on a couple of occasions to give my input/idea to a senior manager. One idea was about mentoring the members and another time it was about quality control. I believed my ideas were worth at least a moment of someone’s time…but I was brushed off as soon as the words starting coming out of my mouth. I’m not stupid. I knew I was basically being dismissed because I was seen as being competent and maybe a little more engaged and interested (because there was a time I cared about my job). I guess I was a threat and I believe those officers saw me as being disrespectful for “trying to tell them how to run their business”… because that is EXACTLY how they see it. They have no intention of sharing anything with the membership. We’re like a bunch of yard apes or drones. We do the hard labor and they drive the bus. That type of thinking will always cause segregation between us. Furthermore it perpetuates the bitterness and resentment the members have toward management.
        “Open communication”…see above. (trying not to laugh). When there is no trust between managers and employees there is NO open communication…EVER.
        “Mutual respect”…see above. (really trying not to laugh). When managers look down their nose at you, it does not create an environment that fosters mutual respect. Just bitterness and resentment…again.

        This Blueprint declaration sounds pretty, but looks can be deceiving.

    • Anonymous permalink

      This blue print release appears very robotic, fictitious, and mechanistic, with words that i consider nothing more than ‘debris’, but I’d expect nothing less from the white-shirts. As usual, all about appearance but zero substance from Paulson’s newsletter.

  4. The Old NCO permalink

    Dr. Webster, your right on the money. The DSRR was not operating fully on the best interests of the members. One could make a very successful career out of being a DSRR, as you state all you have to do is continue to get re-elected. I’ve seen individuals go into the DSRR as a corporal and exit as S/Sgt ranks only to screw up a working detachment because they lacked the experience to command same. I even recall a situation in D Division where a NCO was removed from his Detachment because of his inability to function as an operational leader and was Commissioned and transferred to Ottawa where one can occupy rank without real responsibility. It’s a long known fact that the RCMP hides it’s screw ups in Ottawa. I believe most operational RCMP members realize that. I can recall the comments of a former D Division Crime Opps Officer when describing one of his Officers assigned to a Administrative role. ” I understand how he got to be an Officer, but what I don’t understand is how the Hell did he get into the force.” I can only laugh today at the stupidity that kept me awake for so many nights during my 36 year career. For anyone still serving, you have my best wishes that one day you will have proper representation that I and the many that served along side me didn’t. For those that are close to retirement I hope that you can hang in there because my message is that life is much better on the outside.

  5. mixer permalink

    Yes we need someone to represent us. This week we received and email about the cuts that were made on our Health Benefits. This is a perfect example of what we are facing. The Treasury Board gives us stuff, and the White Shirts decide we don’t need it and cut it out. On one example they said that only 19 percent of members go to the dentist on a regular basis. That during these visits the AVERAGE amount was $2000.00. So what did our Friendly Whites shirts do….. yup put a limit from now on of 2000 bucks per year. If you lose teeth because of the job they will replace them but if it’s off the job. Your S.O.O.Luck. Also our Friendly backstabbing White Shirts are going to get rid of ODS because we the members not the White Shirts are abusing it. When the DSSR pushed for the numbers of members presently on Long Term ODS…. get ready… a whopping 192 members for all of CANADA… wow less the 1%…. This week the Supreme Court of Canada decided that injured retired members where being treated unfairly because of the CLAW Back of the White Shirt Budget balancing kick back believe that we were getting toooooo much. Guess what they were wrong again.
    I’m not saying that a Union or association will not have a hard time but at least we will not get shafted by Members who have forgotten what it’s like on the Front Line, Getting Hurt, being overwork so they can get a percentage of the monies saved. With a Union they will be Call Bosses. and not represented leaving only the working class working together for all of us Front Line Members.

    • anonymous permalink

      Mixer, Would be nice if you or somenoe else could provide a copy of this memo explaining the changes to our health benefits and sick leave here or on a new post. As you know members on sick leave are automatically cut off from the internal information channels. Thanks.

  6. Buck permalink

    The only ones who fear & attempt to demonize the Charter Right of freedom of Association for members are those who are currently abusing, mistreating & PROFITING from the absence of democratic collective bargaining for members who pay taxes & put themselves on the front lines without any Representation ( SRR’s that includes you gutless souls who have boot licked your way out of standing up for what you know is right). Winston Churchill described a similar suppression of freedom of Speech & Expression when he described the Nazi party of pre WW II Germany thus, “They are afraid of words and thought”. I welcome any boot licking fear mongerers to chastise me for the Hitler Nazi reference, but you can KMA. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you know the rest.

    Buck

  7. mixer permalink

    here you go English and FrenchSRR National Caucus Highlight: February 2014
    The SRR National Caucus met in Ottawa during the second week of February. These meetings included discussions, presentations and Policy Centre meetings, all aimed at advancing the interests of our Membership.

    Health Benefit Program
    The Caucus heard from A/Commr. Gilles Moreau, discussing the progress of the health modernization initiative. He stated that over the past 20 months the Force has realized changes to basic and supplemental health care with the latest round of changes having been implemented on January 1, 2014 (supplemental benefits).
    As your SRRs, we urge members to keep aware of the changes which have taken place. Additionally, we reiterate the absolute need to document duty related events that result in injury and/or illnesses to ensure proper access to occupational health care.
    Remaining under discussion is the future form of case management for members who are off-duty sick or injured. Included in those discussions are various internal and external formats, not limited in range from status quo to an outside provider.
    Our position during these discussions, representing the Membership, remains unchanged. We require disability management that will better serve the Membership and ensure timely access to care and safe return to work.

    Legislative Reform Initiative
    Caucus also heard from, and had discussions with Supt. Steve Nordstrum, Legislative Reform Initiative (LRI) advising all of Caucus on the progress to date in building processes and supporting Regulations, as well as Policy which will operationalize Legislative Reform. The SRR Internal Affairs Committee is engaged with LRI to insure fair and balanced processes are a result of these initiatives. During the discussions Caucus members reiterated the absolute need for comprehensive training. We advocate that suitable training must be provided to all persons with the authority and obligations to act in these new processes.
    Your SRRs will continue to work with LRI to ensure your views and concerns are heard and our interests are maintained.
    Policy Center Meetings
    Your SRRs met in person with various National Headquarters Policy Centers. These meetings are your SRRs commitment to facilitate Policy development which ensures the views and conditions from the front lines are given full consideration. Policy development, advocacy and consultation on your behalf are a constant requirement and commitment by your elected SRRs.

    Pay Committee Update
    The current compensation package for RMs, CMs within the LES group and S/Csts expires on December 31st, 2014. Over the past few years, our salary increases have been held to a minimum in comparison to our Police comparators because of the Expenditure Restraints Act. As a result of this legislation, we have ground to make up in order to better place us in our police comparison universe. In preparation for the 2015 pay package submission, the SRR Pay & Benefits committee will be consulting with the membership seeking your input as to what components of total compensation are your priorities. This consultation is aimed at developing empirical data which will support the anecdotal data SRR’S have accumulated. You will be provided additional information in the coming weeks, and ask that members take the time to participate in this consultation.

    Presentation: Commr. Paulson
    Commr. Paulson attended and discussed matters of importance to the membership. Primary in the discussion was the need to support a pay package for 2015 which will better place member’s total compensation in our police comparison universe.
    Other items of discussion included: The need to improve the integrated relocation program;
    Resource level for member positions and a strategy to meet current vacancies, as well as future vacancies, created through growth and attrition;
    Legislative Reform Initiative and the requirement to ensure fair and timely processes, and that appropriate training be provided to those obligated to exercise authority;
    It is our general agreement that conduct matters will be addressed at the lowest appropriate level in a manner grounded in remedy as opposed to punishment;
    Job sharing, private accommodation allowance, Shared Services Canada, consolidation and centralization of human resource services centers were also areas of discussion.

    While there are many challenges, it was agreed our members continue to do outstanding work in policing and require effective support.

    National Executive

    The SRR Caucus elected NHQ SRR Doug ANTHONY to join Abe TOWNSEND as the National Executive for the SRR Program. Doug will replace Mike Casault, who stepped down in January 2014 from his National Executive duties. Doug will transition into his new role in March of 2014.

    Please send any questions, comments or concerns to: frontline_perspective@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

    Caucus national des représentants des relations fonctionnelles – Points saillants Février 2014
    Les membres du Caucus des représentants des relations fonctionnelles (RRF) se sont réunis durant la deuxième semaine de février. Parmi les rencontres organisées figuraient des discussions, des exposés et des réunions avec des représentants des centres de décision, le tout dans le but de faire valoir les intérêts de nos membres.

    Programme des soins de santé
    Le comm. adj. Gilles Moreau s’est adressé au Caucus pour discuter des progrès réalisés à l’égard de l’initiative de modernisation des soins de santé. Il a expliqué qu’au cours des 20 derniers mois, la Gendarmerie a apporté des changements aux soins de base et aux soins complémentaires, la plus récente ronde de changements ayant été mise en œuvre le 1er janvier 2014 (soins de santé complémentaires).
    En notre qualité de représentants des relations fonctionnelles (RRF), nous recommandons vivement aux membres de se tenir au courant des changements qui ont été apportés. En outre, nous insistons sur la nécessité absolue pour les membres de consigner toute blessure ou maladie résultant de l’exercice de leurs fonctions pour s’assurer d’avoir un accès adéquat aux prestations de soins de santé au travail.

    Le point qui est encore en cours de discussion est la forme que prendra la gestion de cas pour les membres en congé de maladie ou blessés. Parmi les solutions dont il a été question durant les discussions figurent divers formats internes et externes, de portée illimitée, allant du statu quo jusqu’au recours à un fournisseur de l’extérieur.
    Notre position au cours de ces discussions, c’est à dire la représentation de nos membres, n’a jamais changé. Nous avons besoin d’un processus de gestion de l’invalidité qui nous permettra de mieux servir nos membres et qui leur assurera un accès en temps utile aux soins de même qu’un retour au travail sécuritaire.

    Initiative de réforme législative
    Le surint. Steve Nordstrum s’est également adressé au Caucus pour parler de l’Initiative de réforme législative (IRL). Il a informé le Caucus des progrès réalisés jusqu’à présent à l’égard de l’établissement de processus et de règlements connexes ainsi que de la politique qui permettra la mise en œuvre de la réforme législative. Le Comité des affaires internes des RRF travaille avec l’IRL pour veiller à ce que des processus justes et équilibrés découlent de cette initiative. Pendant la discussion, les membres du Caucus ont répété qu’il est absolument nécessaire d’offrir une formation approfondie. Nous recommandons que toute personne dotée du pouvoir et de l’obligation d’agir à l’égard de ces nouveaux processus reçoive une formation adéquate.
    Vos RRF vont continuer de travailler avec les représentants de l’IRL pour veiller à la prise en compte de vos points de vue et au maintien de nos intérêts.

    Réunions avec les centres de décisions
    Vos RRF ont rencontré en personne des représentants de divers centres de décision de la Direction générale. Ces rencontres s’inscrivaient dans le cadre de l’engagement de vos RRF à favoriser un processus d’élaboration de la politique qui veille à la pleine prise en considération des points de vue et des conditions des membres sur le terrain. L’élaboration de la politique, la défense des intérêts et la consultation en votre nom sont des exigences et des engagements constants de la part de vos RRF élus.

    Comité de la solde
    Le régime de rémunération actuel pour les m.r., les m.c. du groupe LES et les étudiants-gendarmes prend fin le 31 décembre 2014. Au cours des dernières années, nos augmentations de salaire ont été maintenues à un minimum comparativement à celles accordées par les services de police de référence, en raison de la Loi sur le contrôle des dépenses. Nous avons donc un repli à rattraper afin d’être mieux situés parmi nos services de police de référence. En prévision de la présentation du Régime de la solde et d’indemnité de 2015, le Comité de la solde et des avantages des RRF consultera les membres pour connaître leurs priorités parmi tous les éléments de la rémunération globale. Cette consultation vise à créer des données empiriques pour appuyer les données anecdotiques accumulées par les RRF. Vous recevrez des renseignements additionnels à cet égard dans les prochaines semaines, et nous demandons aux membres de prendre le temps de participer à cette consultation.

    Exposé du commissaire Paulson
    Le commissaire Paulson était présent et a discuté de questions qui revêtent une importance particulière pour les membres. Un des points principaux était la nécessité de soutenir un régime de solde et d’indemnité, en 2015, qui permettrait de mieux placer nos membres par rapport aux services de police référentiels en ce qui a trait à la rémunération globale.
    Autres points abordés : La nécessité d’améliorer le Programme de réinstallation intégré.
    Le niveau de ressources pour les postes de membres et la stratégie en vue de pourvoir les postes vacants actuels et futurs créés par la croissance et l’attrition.
    L’initiative de réforme législative ainsi que la nécessité de veiller à ce que les processus soient justes et opportuns et que ceux qui ont le devoir d’exercer des pouvoirs soient bien formés.
    Il est généralement convenu que les problèmes de conduite sont réglés à l’échelon le plus bas possible sur le fondement de la réparation et non de la punition.
    Le partage d’emploi, l’indemnité pour logement privé, Services partagés Canada, le regroupement et la centralisation des centres de services de ressources humaines.
    Malgré les nombreux défis, il est convenu que nos membres continuent d’offrir des services de police remarquables et qu’ils ont besoin d’un soutien efficace.

    Comité exécutif national
    Le Caucus des RRF a élu Doug ANTHONY, RRF de la Direction générale, et l’a chargé de se joindre à Abe TOWNSEND au Comité exécutif national pour le programme des RRF. Doug y remplacera Mike Casault, qui a quitté ses fonctions en janvier 2014. Il assumera son nouveau rôle à compter de mars 2014.

  8. Anonymous permalink

    Can’t really say what I think of all that BS. But on a brighter note, did you notice that a whole 1.3 lines was dedicated to the grass roots of the force? Quote; “While there are many challenges, it was agreed our members continue to do outstanding work in policing and require effective support”.
    …require effective support??? They must have reached deep down to come up with those three words. The members already know they do an awesome job, so stop already with the BS. Just get to the meat of the problem…the part about us “requiring effective support” while you are all agreeing how great we are from your leather bound chairs and cozy, warm, safe offices. What a slap in the face. Who do these clowns think they’re fooling. Like the members needed you all to agree that we do great work. We work our asses off and give you the best years of our lives. We are the ones who give the RCMP a good name because we are dedicated men and women who take our jobs seriously and care that we do a great job. We care about people. Who do you care about?

    If you care so much, do something about your performance on the Global National News last night…the report about PTSD where Assistant Commissioner Gilles Moreau, when asked about the RCMP providing help for the members stated that “it all starts with the member, the organization cannot do it for you”. He said it was the responsibility of the member to seek the help they need. “We’re not in the treating business”. Well, if I’m not mistaken, PTSD is an Occupational Stress Injury and that means you ARE responsible for caring for your employees. Just look at the Canadian Labour Laws, Part II. Look at the Canadian Charter of Human Rights. No, actually, just look at the record number of employees you have off sick due to PTSD. Or look at the number of suicides. What does this say about our management??? They don’t deserve three words. The statistics speak for themselves. You’re an embarassment.
    So…now how about that “effective support”?

    This is the link to the Global report. If you can’t click on it, just type the words in your search bar.

    http://globalnews.ca/news/1235694/rising-number-of-ptsd-cases-among-rcmp-costing-taxpayers-millions/

  9. mixer permalink

    Anonymous: I agree with you but Remember Acomm, Gilles Moreau had to get some support because he failed an EXAM, had problem with his KIDS, SeperationS , Divorce. He had to speak to his other white shirts for support …. Cry me a River…. He sold his soul to the Devil.

  10. Buck permalink

    “Effective Support”!?!?!?! Ever notice how when Moreau is on camera he looks like he is in discomfort? Makes me think I’d like to see a day when all these practiced equine excrement tossers speak truth, like Jim Carey in “Liar, Liar”. Most all members just try to get back to the office, avoid the slithering snakes, get their files in and escape the toxic workplace. Some run off to their nearest upcoming LEEEEDUR in training to get in some last minute butt smooching in hopes of clinging to the corporate conveyor belt to unearned glory in SEC Nirvana.

    “Better to be a group of donkeys led by a lion, than a group of lions led by a donkey”

    Ghengis Khan

    P.S. Ottawa is full of donkeys

  11. Hey Mike,

    I read your post on, “A Unionized RCMP?: Nothing to Fear” and I’m curious.

    First let me assure you that after 31 years service, I enjoyed every minute I served. I retired as a S/Sgt and have experience on detachment as well as in admin roles in I/c Div Planning, I/c Div Audit ending up as a two term Div Rep.

    I retired over 20 years ago and for many years while in the Force and in retirement, I continually heard that we need a union. So when I read your post and your comment that the association folks do not want the right to strike, I became curious, and wonder whether you can help me out here.

    If the association/union/collective bargaining unit, by any other name, bargains with treasury board for increases in pay, and they tell our boys there is no money, and you can’t have your raise, what then? What do other police forces do when they are turned down?

    When the Steelworkers’ Union or the Teamsters Union, or any non-governmental union get turned down, they have the option to go on strike as their final move to move forward.

    If the RCMP cannot go on strike, how are they any more influential than the Div Rep System?

    I am sure this question must have been asked of you in the past, and I am curious as to how you addressed it.

    When I was in the Div Rep system, the Commissioners of the day repeatedly told the CO’s at our CO/Div Rep Meetings in Ottawa, that they WILL “get along” with their Div Reps. That made our job of getting satisfaction from grieving members much easier.

    We could go over the heads of Division Management directly to Policy Centres in “HQ” to get information and results.

    Our Newsletters made decisions of Management and the Div Reps very transparent. No secrets.

    “HQ” policy centres were held to account in many ways; a threat to resign from Div Rep Committees and leave the program to return to Det. work, etc.

    I paid my own expenses for Federal Court action (successful).

    I mention these because there are many ways to get things done in the Div Rep System back in the day, and I don’t know whether a association/union/collective bargaining unit, could do more.

    So without the “threat” of strike, I am curious how you would advise the proposed association/union/collective bargaining unit, to accomplish their goals in any manner different from the Div Rep System.

    The Supreme Court has decided that members now have “the right to collectively bargain with the government”. Does that mean the proposed association/union/collective bargaining unit can by-pass RCMP management to bargain directly with Treasury Board? Can they accomplish more using that route? Whether this group or the Div Reps are turned down by the Government, what’s the difference?

    Mike, I write this with no animus towards anyone, this is merely my curiosity seeking resolution.

    Sincerely,

    Jim Scott
    Brentwood Bay, BC

  12. Sorry I missed this Jim. I don’t typically handle the incoming comments as I expect the members to address each other and not me. If your question hasn’t been answered over the time ensuing between you asking and me responding, here it is. All workers are entitled to the right to strike; including the RCMP. The Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada does not “seek” the right to strike. They pursue a broad platform; contained within will naturally be the “right to strike”; to be used as a last resort. The Steelworkers or Teamsters may more readily exercise their right as they do not have the same responsibility to the public. If you are familiar with The Principle of Scarcity, this has the potential of making a police strike action all the more powerful. Once again my apologies for missing your query.

    Mike W.

  13. Back again Jim……I have been chastised for being too gentle in my first response and not really answering your question. The accurate answer has been noted a few comments above, and has something to do with motivation. I’m sure most would agree that it is difficult and even unnatural for us to “bite the hand that feeds us”. It is only logical that a union representative with no ties to management would more assertively represent his/her members than would a functionary like a DSRR operating under such a paternal relationship as the Division Staff Relations one.

    Mike W.

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