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Charter Rights Apply to Everyone: RCMP

Feb 11

Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada • P.O. Box 76004 • Langley, BC • V1M 4B7

OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE

national@mppac.ca

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.

Respectfully,
Rae Banwarie
MPPAC President

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4 Comments
  1. Calvin Lawrence permalink

    I have the below statement by a Div. Rep in writing (e-mail) Does the Div. Rep. system work? See below article and quote. (Google for full article Jeff Sallot Calvin Lawrence Union RCMP)

    Allegations of misconduct pile up against RCMP Add to …
    JEFF SALLOT
    OTTAWA — From Monday’s Globe and Mail
    Published Monday, Apr. 16 2007, 12:00 AM EDT
    Last updated Friday, Mar. 13 2009, 9:30 PM EDT
    JEFF SALLOT

    His staff relations representative, who, in the absence of a real union with stewards and transparent grievance procedures, is supposed to act as an advocate for members with managers, wrote a note to the boss saying: “I’ll try to keep Cal off your back.”

  2. Mel Young permalink

    Bob Paulson is Canada’s 23rd RCMP Commissioner. Since his appointment, he has issued two formal written apologies for his behaviour. Anyone who uses the cuckoo sign to describe employees suffering with PTSD forfeited the privilege to lead this organization-and no written apology will suffice.

    My foster father was a coal miner in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He died from a disease known as black-lung (coal dust in the lungs) after many years of not being provided with the proper breathing equipment by the company that operated the coal mine-hundreds like him died in similar fashion. Those workers fought for many years to obtain the safety equipment and benefits they rightly earned and deserved.

    Had Commissioner Paulson performed that despicable cuckoo sign with all those hard working coal miners he would have been abruptly marched to the exit gate with his lunch box in hand by all the employees- and no elected government politician would have stood in their way.

    How many more letters of apology will it take for someone in government to act? The Prime Minister and Federal Minister of Public Safety have remained silent but their silence is a motivator! That is why you need representation like MPPAC.

    Stand up and challenge those people who hurt you or your workmates. Do not remain silent when you see acts of harassment or when you see your benefits erode in the stroke of a pen. Do not allow a man to raise his finger, twirl it around and whistle without consequence. You deserve better! Yes, some of those aggressors (or enablers) will come after you for speaking out-like they did to me-it will be very painful-but keep your dignity. Replace your anger with a mission.

    My mission will be to send a complaint to the United Nations and Her Majesty the Queen in her role as Chief-Commissioner of the RCMP. My mission will be realized in my vote on Federal election day. My family’s mission will be realized in their vote on election day. Canada’s military veterans will be heard on election day and I urge you to do the same-UNITY. Do not remain silent.

    Mel Young

  3. Anonymous permalink

    Mel Young … many of us thank you for your voice and your stand on this hurtful employer. I have always stood up and taken my stand, I have suffered, but none the less remain vigilant and still carry the strength to fight back, even though I am not currently working. Collectively many of us can make the change for the better, our votes count, and you can effect change with commitment and courage.

  4. Well said Rae,

    Here is what will happen if the other side of the coin comes up,

    The Supreme Court is now hearing our case. Long overdue. This is history in the making and I am proud to be a member of MPPAC. The decision that the SCC makes will effect every working person in Canada. This issue is much bigger than most of us can realize. This is what will happen if the SCC decides in the governments favor. The below is what is predicted and is not to be seen as an item in itself, as it is listed. There will be many more changes/challenges that will come to the working people in this country and they will not be positive ones.

    1) All Unions and Associations in Canada will eventually lose the right to bargain with there employer
    2) Employers will be able to implement there own labor system, that will of course be in favor of the employer and not the employee. They of course will talk to employees, but only for the optics. In reality, they will not be interested in appeasing workers needs. Their interest will be in making more money at the workers expense.
    3) There will be no true independent labor system that will be available in Canada.
    4) Wages and work safety rules and regulations will fall substantially.
    5) Work related deaths will rise
    6) Harassment and threatening behaviour by employers on its employees will grow substantially.
    8) Worker benefits will fall substantially.
    9) Civil unrest will follow

    I am stating the obvious here. Just take a look at several other countries, where only the rich thrive. The poor work for peanuts, and have no or very few benefits. If the decision is in favor of the government, all I can say is be very afraid.

    Join MPPAC and become involved. We need you, to help you.

    Rolly Beaulieu
    National Secretary – MPPAC

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