This is a great win for disabled RCMP Veterans.
Disabled RCMP veterans reach settlement with the Canadian Government in disability benefit class action
CNW Newswire 2014-03-07
HALIFAX, March 7, 2014 /CNW/ – Earlier today, Canadian law firms McInnes Cooper and Branch MacMaster announced a proposed class action settlement with the Government of Canada over the reduction of disabled Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) veterans’ long term disability benefits.
The proposed settlement of White and Buote v. Her Majesty the Queen, which still requires Federal Court approval, is projected to provide a total of over $31 million in benefits, plus interest, to approximately 1,000 disabled RCMP veterans. The proposed settlement also provides that the reduction will cease for all RCMP veterans currently receiving benefits and RCMP members who are medically released in the future.
The Federal Court is scheduled to consider approval of the settlement in Halifax on June 20, 2014. If it is approved, class members should receive their refund within six months of approval.
This case was initiated on June 6, 2008 by A. Gerard (“Gerry”) Buote on behalf of all disabled RCMP veterans whose long term disability benefits were being reduced by the amount of their monthly Veterans Affairs disability pension payments. Mr. Buote passed away after a battle with cancer on August 24, 2009. Shortly thereafter, David White of Bridgewater took on the role of Representative Plaintiff.
Mr. Buote’s widow, Mrs. Sheri Buote, provided the following statement: “Gerry started the class action suit because he felt all medically pensioned RCMP members and their families were being denied, and this was the right thing to do. He’d be incredibly happy today for everyone involved. I’m very proud of him, and Peter Driscoll was amazing through all of this.”
The class is represented by Peter Driscoll and Dan Wallace of McInnes Cooper and Ward Branch of Branch MacMaster.
“We are honoured to have been able to represent all members of the class, and very pleased with this result,” said lead counsel Peter Driscoll. “We’re glad we were able to come to a resolution that will end the offset once and for all, and see disabled members who were subject to the offset benefit from the terms of the settlement.”
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. Read more…
I was invited to appear in Ottawa before this Committee. I was unable to do so due to my work commitment. I thought you might enjoy reading the written submission I sent instead.
Dr. Mike Webster Read more…
Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada • P.O. Box 76004 • Langley, BC • V1M 4B7
OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE
February 11, 2014
CHARTER RIGHTS APPLY TO EVERYONE
Open letter to all Canadians
The Mounties are a Canadian icon, recognized and respected around the world. As we celebrate our national pride and support our Olympians, it’s important that we also demand fair treatment for the men and women in red who bravely serve in the RCMP.
The RCMP is the only police force in Canada not permitted to form an independent labour association—in contravention of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees everyone in Canada the fundamental freedom of association.
The RCMP Commissioner has unchecked power to fire members for unsatisfactory performance, for economy and efficiency in the Force, or for reasons other than a contravention of the Code of Conduct. His decision is final; there are no guidelines and no appeal process or supervisory board.
RCMP Regulations impose the Staff Relations Representative Program (SRRP) for members. The SRRP reports to RCMP management; because the Commissioner is appointed by the Federal Government, the SRRP is politically controlled.
PTSD and occupational stress injuries are high. Many RCMP members work long hours and are denied access to their annual leave because detachments are chronically understaffed to save money. Adequate police to population ratios are mandated by collective agreements in other police forces in Canada.
The RCMP paid out more than $160.3 million in overtime in 2011/2012 alone! Based on the Force’s December 2011 total compensation rate, that could have funded more than 1,450 new members.
The RCMP is 57th on the pay scale for police constables out of 85 police forces in Canada, as of December 31, 2013.
Canadians deserve better.
On February 18, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case to decide if the RCMP Regulations unjustifiably infringe the Charter rights of members of the RCMP. If the Court decides in favour of the Regulations, the ramification is that every collective agreement and unionized workplace in Canada will be in jeopardy because precedent will be set by the ruling. It will be the beginning of the end for collective bargaining in Canada, as employers could justifiably impose labour programs and deny employees the right to select independent associations to bargain on their behalf.
The Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC) aims to replace the SRRP as an independent labour association. 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 affect the quality of life of all Canadians. The Association does not seek or support the right to strike.
JOIN US. Tell the Government that Charter rights apply to all Canadians and that RCMP members must be allowed to form an independent labour association.
Demand that RCMP members be compensated fairly, governed justly, staffed adequately and equipped appropriately to ensure their health and safety on the job. To learn more or to declare your support, visit http://www.mppac.ca, like us on Facebook and follow us @CanadaMPPAC on Twitter.
Just wondering as I was reading through the Archived topics, there in one area that is not there. LGBTQT issues!
I have been through one incident of harassment that included that topic, the RCMP buried it literally. As being an LBGT person, out and an activist, I basically have been a target for anything and everything. I just wonder how many of our cases of PTSD overall include the issues pertaining to this one group who is not well represented if tolerated in the RCMP. If anyone can answer that, it would be appreciated. Yes I am aware of the past history of the RCMP towards LGBT persons, from the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s … read the book, The Canadian War on Queers, National Security as Sexual Regulation by Gary Kinsman and Patrizia Gentile, it is extraordinary and I have met Gary and he and I of course discussed this and lived through all that and I remember it.
But this has to be an underlying reason for abuse, harassment, homophobia by management. It doesn’t happen here in the RCMP really? If anyone out there is a member out or not, get a hold of Ottawa and start pressing them, some want to organize a Advisory Committee, in Diversity. I would take part but not sure if I can now that I am on leave.
It is interesting because no one talks, and in order to gain diversity and respect you must talk.
As most know already, there is an ongoing Class Action Lawsuit against the RCMP at this time by female members who allege harassment. The initial intent of that lawsuit was to include all members, men and women, past and present who alleged things like neglect, harassment, abuse of power, etc. However, the law firms who are handling that suit felt that they would just deal with female members this time around and they ‘might’ do another suit in future for the men after this one is concluded. Furthermore, we still do not know what allegations that lawsuit will entail, whether it’s harassment in general or sexual harassment only.
I believe that it is the members who make up the RCMP, not the other way around, yet management has seemed to have lost sight of this. I also believe, that being said, that members are the RCMP’s most valuable resource, not it’s police cars, not the equipment, not the detachments, but the men and women who ‘walk the beat’ every single day and night to serve and protect. Why then are we treated as a liability instead of an investment by our employer? Managers don’t seem to have a problem looking after the cars and equipment on a regular basis. Cars get serviced, tires get rotated, radars get calibrated, routine inventory checks done on pc’s every week to ensure they have what they need to do the job. But who is doing our inventory? Have you ever heard a supervisor use the term ‘risk it out’? That’s when a shift is short of the agreed upon compliment of members and instead of calling out an extra member on overtime the supervisor says, “Nah, it’s Sunday…nothing’s going to happen today so I’m going to risk it out”. What does that say about our value to the RCMP when YOU are the one who is being ‘risked out’?
Policy (Admin Manual II-19-5) “Reporting Psychologically Traumatic Incidences” states that after certain traumatic events (there are 13 listed) this must occur;
1) Every incident must be reported to the member’s commander,
2) a psychological debriefing is mandatory, and
3) it is highly recommended that the member seek psychological assistance. How many of us can say we did not ever receive this care? There is Supreme Court law that states ‘employers are responsible to care for it’s employees’.
We owe it to ourselves to stand up to our abuser. I am also interested in members who did not receive proper care or were not accommodated for PTSD. Under the Canadian Human Rights Commission an employer “ought to have known” an employee had PTSD if the symptoms were there and the employer saw the signs but neglected to do anything about it. You do not have to be diagnosed with PTSD for this (to be accommodated). If the signs were there and your employer saw them but ignored them then your employer has not accommodated you and so was negligent. Signs could include for example a member who’s performance was failing, a member who was drinking in excess, if you filed a 1343 for something like feeling stressed (because of headaches) yet your employer failed to acknowledge it…things like this. These are just examples, but again, if the signs were there but neglected.
We have an overwhelming amount of evidence to prove neglect, harassment, etc. Although a Class Action Lawsuit only requires two plaintiffs it would be much more beneficial to have many. Once a suit gets announced many more will join. In my opinion this is the ONLY way to put this issue where it belongs. There is no financial cost to you to belong to a class action lawsuit because the law firms would do it on a contingency basis.
I’m not sure whether I should congratulate RCMP “E” Division Human Resources for duping the BC Association of Human Resource Professionals (BCAHRP) or question what planet the latter has been living on for the last 10 years. It seems that the BCAHRP is going to host an “HR Community Showcase” where its members (and any interested RCMP members willing to pay $10) will be treated to “. . . a rare glimpse inside this multifaceted Canadian icon [the RCMP] to learn how their HR team cultivates employee trust and confidence through their various programs”. Those in attendance will hear “… how the panel connects their expert area within the framework of cultivating trust, which engages employees and impacts the overall effectiveness of HR service delivery”. In general, these “shmoozfests” provide “an opportunity for organizations to highlight their HR best practices”. (Just out of interest, BCAHRP, have you checked out how many people on the RCMP panel have post secondary degrees or certificates in business, human resource management, personnel- management, or industrial/organizational systems? Or are these professional police persons with, at best, a 3-4 week “scratch-the-surface” course from a police training institution?).
Okay, now that we’ve all composed ourselves after choking on the image of at least two RCMP managers on the panel who are alleged, in a recent harassment lawsuit, to have bullied and harassed a female member, here are some things for the BCAHRP to consider: Read more…