Liberal Dithering Hurting RCMP Morale

OTTAWA —Daniel Blaikie, NDP Caucus Chair and Treasury Board Critic, and Matthew Dubé, NDP Public Safety Critic, called on the government to take action to correct the compounding labour problems faced by RCMP members.

“Liberal dithering is seriously hurting morale in the RCMP,” said Blaikie. “After ignoring a raise recommendation for well over a year, yesterday’s meagre pay increase for RCMP members falls well short of the recommendation made by the RCMP Pay Council in 2015. Meanwhile, there is growing confusion about the rules for certifying an RCMP bargaining agent while Bill C-7 languishes on the Order Paper.”

The Liberals’ failure to pass Bill C-7 and Bill C-4 is creating an atmosphere of legal uncertainty as prospective bargaining agents are beginning to apply for certification. There have also been allegations of harassment by management of RCMP members participating in organizing drives and concerted efforts to block communication about organizing drives in the workplace.

Given that RCMP members are spread out across the country, with many serving in rural and remote communities, the NDP has called on the government to allow appropriate, reasonable access to the RCMP’s electronic communication system for the strict purpose of providing RCMP members with the information they need to make an informed choice about whether and how to certify a bargaining agent. That letter remains unanswered.

New Democrats are also calling on the government to end the legal uncertainty around certification by ensuring the passage of C-7 and C-4, allowing RCMP members access to the information they need to make an informed decision, and offering a pay increase that will actually help address morale issues in the force.

“In order to ensure public safety, it is important we provide a fair and equitable labour environment to RCMP members so they can continue to do their job safely and effectively," added Dubé. “By the very nature of their job, RCMP members already face unique challenges and undertake significant risk. They should not have to deal with avoidable labour issues and chronically low morale.”

“It’s critical that this government helps foster respect for RCMP members and their rights,” said Sheila Malcolmson, Member of Parliament for Nanaimo—Ladysmith. “RCMP members should be able to negotiate staffing levels, deployment and relocation, harassment and discipline, which is a right enjoyed by the vast majority of federal workers.”