March 24th, 2017

Liberals Must Treat RCMP Members Fairly: NDP

OTTAWA – This week the NDP learned that a pay raise recommendation for RCMP members, which has been held up at the Treasury board since 2015, will not be given any further consideration than other public service wage requests. This is in spite of the unique challenges and risks undertaken by RCMP members, serious recruitment and retention issues for the force, as well as chronically low morale.

“The Liberals argued to keep unfair exclusions on collective bargaining in Bill C-7 because of what they called “the unique role of the RCMP as a national police force,” but when it comes to compensation, it suits them better to treat RCMP members like everyone else.” said Daniel Blaikie, NDP Member of Parliament for Elmwood–Transcona. “The Liberals want to have it both ways, but their selective amnesia isn’t fooling anyone and shows a serious lack of respect for members of the RCMP.”

In a recent meeting of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates, Minister Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board, refused to answer questions about considerations and timeline of the pay hike. An order paper question submitted by Mr. Blaikie through the House of Commons forced the government to provide an answer.

The response from the Treasury Board reveals that pay increases for the RCMP will be “considered in the broad context of the Government approach to compensation determination in the public service”. In contradiction to the Minister, Treasury Board staff at committee admitted that RCMP compensation should be considered in the context of “comparators with other police forces”. Yet, RCMP members are now ranked 72 out of 80 police forces across the country.

While the government refuses to act on a January 2015 RCMP Pay Council report entitled Fair Compensation for the RCMP that recommended significant wage increases for members, RCMP top brass were given $1.7 million in bonuses this year. While frontline members received nothing.

“RCMP members have been unfairly treated by the Liberals and the government’s silence on their pay raise adds insult to injury,” said Blaikie. “Unfortunately this silence will further add to the frustration of RCMP members. I hear regularly from RCMP members who are tired of the platitudes from government. They want respect instead, and they deserve it.”