Unionization in the RCMP…the beginning of the end?

It has been a long, bumpy, and hesitant progression for officers of the RCMP towards possible unionization. Will eventual unionization be the panacea to all that ails?  Or, is it the subtle push over the cliff for an organization which is reeling, staggering under a bloated bureaucracy, inept Federal direction and inadequate financing and resources?

In the last twenty years this stetson and breeches symbol of Canada is quickly becoming just that; a symbol, not a viable operational policing structure; proving itself time and again no longer able to be all things to everyone. A Federal agency not able to admit its shortcomings. There is mounting evidence that it is slipping, has lost sight of its core abilities, no longer able to provide Municipal and Provincial policing, at least not at an acceptable or comparable level to other police agencies.

Its current inflated management struggles with 21st century issues, leaving most of its 179 Superintendents, 58 Chief Superintendents and 26 Assistant Commissioners ill-equipped to handle what is about to come their way; either administratively or from a practical perspective. A colossal ship unable to turn in time, unable to steer clear of modernization, try as it might. They are a struggling para-military organization which seems confounded by the need to absorb and learn about labour law, sexual harassment, grievances, arbitration, wage negotiations and the other policy trappings of policing in the new age.

Until now it has always been a closed shop, promoting and advancing from within, oblivious to the “real world”, often using the RCMP Act to bludgeon officers into compliance and acceptance whether it be an issue of pay, or a grievance.  More often than not the preferred solution was to ignore the problem, often for years on end.

There was at one time an era of independence from their Federal masters, a time when the RCMP still seemed concerned with operational policing,  and tried to maintain at least a perceived distance from political machinations. It was indeed the Mad Men era, where drinking, smoking and making yourself available for “choir practise” was the way of handling dissent; personality clashes often ironed out over rambunctious and censor free talk. It was not necessarily acceptable nor right, but it was the way of the times.

The “old school” group of officers tended to be Saskatchewan farm boys or South shore  Nova Scotians happy to have a steady, exciting, yet blue collar job. You were allowed into the “club”, informally vetted,  became a “member” of the blue line, and that line was inviolate, only allowed to bend, not break.

The vast majority of the officers in the RCMP were ironically, anti-union, with a greater chance of breaking up a strike or quelling demonstrations than voting for or supporting a union.

The officers of those days carried their .38 revolver and cheap yellow plastic flashlights, but they have now been replaced by officers adorned with multiple weapons, body armour, and carbine rifles and who would not be out of place in a theatre of war. They are now better educated, interested in career planning, paternity and maternity leave, isolation pay, and the utopian work/life balance. PTSD has become common place, sometimes seemingly more prevalent than the flu.

This ponderous, slow evolutionary process inside the RCMP has set these two worlds, the old and the new, on a collision course. The old way of doing things are coming to an end, there is no other plausible or possible outcome.

In January of 2015 the Supreme Court of Canada fired the first shot allowing the right to organize within the RCMP and even went further saying that the government needed to bring in legislation and a framework that would clear a path for the RCMP to pursue unionization.

The government was of course late in reaching this court deadline handed to them by the Supreme Court, but finally produced Bill C-7. In its initial form it looked suspicious.  It seemed to be a bit of a trojan horse, and seem designed to provide the legislation while at the same time trying to rip the heart and power out of any future collective bargaining agreement.

The Senate  in their due process found that the bill as proposed by the Liberals were trying to keep normally assumed rights issues such as harassment, code of conduct, equipment and staffing levels excluded from the collective bargaining process. It would be hard to believe that this was just an oversight on the part of the Liberals.  This was a direct attempt to keep away from the hot button issues. And it was a ridiculous attempt to cling to the old world, a brazen attempt that even the dust covered Senators were quick to realize and raise opposition.

Most of what they they tried to exclude were coincidently ones that would also lead to a  monumental increase in budgets.

The Senate proposed amendments to the bill and sent it back to the House. They recommended that these normal bargaining issues should be put back into the legislation, and needed to be included in any possible RCMP collective agreement.

(There were a couple of line items that the Liberals still refused to go along with; the expanding of the Public Service Labour Relations Board to hear RCMP grievances; and  the inability for the RCMP to strike. They also rejected the need for a secret ballot which had been introduced by the Conservatives.)

In May 2017 the Liberals, bending to some mounting pressure adopted almost all of the Senate recommendations. The bill has now received Royal assent and will become law shortly, a bill that would allow bargaining on issues such as manpower resourcing and code of conduct.

As Bill C-7 wound its way through the Senate review process, the Federal government had also moved to make the 3900 “civilian” employees, into members of the Public Service. Workers in the RCMP such as those working in wiretap rooms and at the RCMP call centres were no longer going to be civilian police, they were going to become members of PSAC.

Although this seems like a relatively minor change, this too engendered a small amount of controversy.  As “civilian” officers of the RCMP, some argued that they often indirectly enjoyed greater benefits that accrued to the RCMP as opposed to being a member of the public service. These workers will now be represented by PSAC beginning in 2020 (the delay is because of the boondoggled Phoenix pay system, and the government does not want to make the change until it is confident that the pay system is rectified. ) Their jobs haven’t changed, nor should they, but the very responsibility for their employment standards and pay now rests with a union.

Meanwhile, in April 2017 there were two groups of Mounties who wanted to form a union group and apply for certification. One group of Mounties calling themselves the National Police Federation gained the upper hand and with a sudden influx of memberships were in a position to apply for union certification at the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board. They are now seeking to represent the 17,945 officers.

In typical Mountie fashion, this application and the ability of the NPF to represent was not without controversy.

At the time the NPF was vying with another group of Mounties who made up the MPPAC (Mounted Police Professional Association) to be the union group of choice. The MPPAC has a long history dating back a couple of decades where a small vocal group of officers cajoled and hammered away at the RCMP management group. They called for a unionized force years before, and developed a legal fund to assist officers they felt had been unduly treated. Their overall effectiveness was open to debate, but there was little doubt that they were thorns in management’s backside.

The NPF on the other hand are made up of former Division Staff Relations Representatives. In the years before the court go ahead for unionization, there was the the Division Representative program. It was a system clearly which favoured management both in terms of power and outcome.  Although officers voted and elected a group of individuals who were to represent them to management, it was a half-hearted attempt by management to suborn any kind of union talk which was festering and bubbling below the surface at the time. It was of pure government design, one intended to appear advanced and supportive of the rank and file, but in practise somewhat of a slight of hand operation.

The DSRR’s had no real power  (even their assessments were done by their Commanding Officers) so they were often seen as being pawns of the managers and too eager to choose the side of the managers. They were clearly beholden to upper management, some were more vocal than others, but their effectiveness and power lay in the ability to persuade.

So as the deadline approached for filing for union certification the two groups were pitted against each other and seemingly evenly split in terms of support.

It seems that the NPF, the former group of DSRR’s, were allowed to access and use the RCMP email system to garner support. This is contrary to how the system should work as management is not allowed to show favour to one group over another. The MPPAC wrote several emails complaining and have now filed a grievance, which they hope will be expedited by the Public Service Labour Relations and Employment Board complaining of this favour and demanding retractions.

The NPF also used the management condoned Legal Fund to further their cause. The Legal Fund was a not for profit fund, supported by over 16,000 officers through voluntary pay cheque deductions. The RCMP allowed the NPF to seek support in an email through the auspices of the Legal fund and it also provided a loan to the NPF to get started in their union certification drive.

Both seem unethical to a great many officers and of course the MPPAC.  It clearly reeked of favourites being played, a group of officers who had previously worked for the rank and file but somewhat beholden to the managers of the day were now being supported by management to be the union group of choice. If this process was not tainted it certainly had the appearance of inequity.

Then along came another bump in the road when officers in Quebec  decided that they wanted to form their own union in “C” Division, distinct and apart from the rest of the National police Force. They have launched an appeal of the decision to have one union for all RCMP.  Serge Bilodeau, the head of the Quebec push said that  “the move is justifiable due to the specifics that are applicable to the needs of Quebec’s frontline members”.

Quebec or “C” Division has always been an outlier, fed by a Provincial culture which often identified itself with the labour movement and generally in favour  of unionization.  Its a Division which has always seen itself as distinct from the other RCMP officers in Canada. This has created a chasm between them and their fellow officers in other parts of Canada. The divisive politics of the Quebec region, between the English and the French, has always carried over to the RCMP as well. That being said, it would be difficult to argue that they are unique in their issues to the other officers in Canada.

Nevertheless the NPF group seems best positioned and awaits certification after it  got a major influx of “sign ups”  when they publicly stated their support for the “yellow stripe”campaign.

If one accepts that the majority of officers will vote in favour of a Union (and this is not a sure bet), it will be a long uphill climb with a momentous learning curve but it does seem that the general membership has turned the philosophical corner.  There seems to be a time for union membership to be nurtured, when disgruntled employees reach a breaking point with the big brother attitude of management or with a poisonous work environment. The RCMP officers seemed to have reached that point.

But make no mistake, if it proceeds, it will be the catalyst for significant change previously unseen in the long history of the RCMP.

Historically, the RCMP management kept staffing levels low, and this combined with the discounted municipal contracts offered by Ottawa has always made the RCMP the “cheap” choice. There is little doubt that a collective agreement will alter manpower, costs and salaries will go up, and the overall cost of running the RCMP will increase.

Some estimate a 30% increase in overall costs, which Ottawa would have to try and download to the towns and cities.  (For example: the people in the City of Vancouver for the VPD pay $420 per capita; North Vancouver, an RCMP jurisdiction bordering Vancouver pay $230.00 per capita)  Regional policing in places like the Lower Mainland in British Columbia may be an  inevitable second wave of change, as politicians will vie to have more political control of the now more expensive police officers.

Grievances will still be handled in house, but union representatives will be in place, and the dynamics will change dramatically. There will be no more prolonged or ignored labour issues. A grievance will need to be heard quickly and the outcomes will be measured and set precedents. The lineup for those wrongs will be extensive, and the members should be prepared to recognize that the outcomes may not be to the liking of all officers.

Meal breaks will be monitored, staffing levels will need to be maintained, and supervisors will have a more accountable role. Overtime and promotions will be questioned and there will a need for justification. Seniority will play a bigger role, and early promotions whether justified or not will almost become non-existent.

Shop stewards, union heads and union administrators will all have to learn the job for which none of them for the most part have any experience. All will have to be elected through an internal process. Union monies will need to be collected and charters and budgets will need to be developed. (Union members now pay roughly 1.1 to 1.3% of their salary to dues. For an $80,000 officer, you would be paying at least $1,040.00 per year. That would equate to a union with a budget of over $20,000,000.00.) 

Setting up a the structure needed, communications budgets and all that this entails would be an enormous undertaking for any newly formed union group. As personalities jostle for position in the NPF the members themselves will need to be paying attention. They will now be a political Force.

Will the current RCMP senior management in Ottawa be able to meet these demands?  It seems unlikely. Certainly not in its present format.  The old management guard will be pushed and prodded to adapt, some will and some won’t,  but the RCMP Act will no longer be a hiding place where they can seek shelter. The administrative roles will be pulled away and the freedom to operate within the current vacuum will dissipate, as  new air will be blown in.

As to the membership, the current crop of young officers will adapt, and likely applaud the changes. The veterans will decry the strictures now placed on them, and continue to wax eloquently about the good old days.

There will be bitching about the amount of union dues.

There will be talk about an FBI styled RCMP and the need to get out of uniform policing altogether.

Will it work, will the RCMP officers be better off?  Only time will tell, but you can be assured it will not be the same. There will be a tectonic shift in both makeup and administration of the RCMP.

Maybe thats a good thing. Maybe it needs to start over.

Maybe like the 75 year old wooden house the structure needs to be demolished; no longer practical to save, the planks and cross beams decaying and  unable to support the overall building. This house which has been ignored, uncared for over the years, has made it no longer serviceable.

The proud, historic, and hereditary structure now just a symbol of what was, of a day gone by. It will be lamented but it will never be reversed. Someone should be accountable for the lack of upkeep, but they wont be.

These managers who placed the officers into this point in history are likely to be moving on — probably just before that house roof falls in.

In a recent interview with CTV the seemingly single issue Commissioner Lucki continues to speak in sync with the Liberals, on building a “more tolerant, more inclusive and absolutely more respectful workplace”. These are obvious and warranted goals, but somehow out of sync, secondary needs considering the chaos that surrounds this organization and the chaos which is about to come.

It is analogous to the Band on the Titanic, continuing to play, ignoring the cries to abandon ship, as the water begins lapping at their ankles.  Trudeau the conductor and Ralph Goodale playing the violin. Commissioner Lucki on 2nd violin following their lead, trying to stay in rhythm.

Photo Courtesy of David Whelan via Flickr Creative Commons – Some Rights Reserved

 

36 thoughts on “Unionization in the RCMP…the beginning of the end?

  1. Nice job Peter, as always so well written.
    I’m sure the new force will look good in Teamsters caps and T shirts?

    Keep up the great blogs.

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  2. Pete

    I never really understood the chronology of union activity relating to the Force until I read your excellent portrayal, complete with pitfalls. Your analogy about the 70 year old home and the musical trio comprised of Justin, Ralph and the new Commr. is sadly telling. I heard one member say if they keep talking about the Force in this negative way, bad things are going to happen. As if the observers are causing the demise. Au contraire! It is occurring before our very eyes and nothing is being done in spite of eloquent writers such as yourself trying to ring the alarm. It is almost like watching a fatal MVA occurring and no one has the power or ability to stop it.

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  3. Six year as a Div Rep we all heard about those who wanted us to unionize. I could never understand why members would agree to having to pay one or two percent of their wages for a group that cannot accomplish anything more than the Div Reps could, and it would not cost them a dime; our services were paid for by Treasury Board, who paid all our costs; travel, accommodation, wages etc..
    Neither the Div reps nor a union can enforce demands by calling out the members on strike.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Jim, I think they are valid points. I actually see unionization as being more than about salary negotiation…I think it will prove significant in terms of putting in place timely processes for grievances etc., for one example, and that will have a greater impact in the long run ..but we shall see…thanks for reading…Pete

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pete,
        I am disappointed to read that you interpreted my comments were narrowly aimed at salary negotiations. The DSRRs that I was part of, dealt with many different a varied Issues, not just pay.
        We had informal access to all senior officers who were i/c the many Policy Centres in HQ, and negotiated freely with any and all of them.
        With respect to your comments on “putting in place timely processes for grievances”, we learned that many unions required grievers to file through their union, who decided whether the grievance had merit or not; effectively taking the members’ right to grieve to the Comm’r away, and replacing it in the hands of the union. If I were a griever, I would not wish to have the merits of my action being filtered through another level. What is my recourse should the union disagree with my reasons for grieving? I trust you would not support such an additional level for me to go through?

        If I were still a member I would examine closely, the set up of an RCMP Union.

        I”ll cease commenting here, Pete. My sole purpose here is to remind your readers that having a union is not a panacea for all their issues.
        Jim

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    2. As a member who sought the assistance of a Div Rep I can state I found the services I received to be woefully inadequate. It was difficult to tell the Div Rep apart from management. I needed assistance with a harassment problem and was talked out of pursuing the matter by the Div Rep who convinced me that I would suffer career damage if I filed a complaint. That encounter more than any other event convinced me that the membership needs a union. 1-2% is a bargain if the union can address even a fraction of the issues the membership is currently struggling with.

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    3. Well not like the Div Rep did much for members and did not side with Managmemt on may occasion! We all remember how they turned on Gaetan Delisle ( a thorn on their side). And looking at the pay situatio of the last 12 years or so we went from top 8 to bottom 8 so tell me again what the DSRR did for anyone???

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Great article, very well written. As a retired member with over 34 yrs service, the RCMP should start making plans to become a truly Federal Police Force similar to the FBI in the United States. It should get out of contract policing and every member should have a university degree preferably in law or business.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess some of us forgot where real police work is learned! The FBI is not a star in the world! They have many shortcomings like everyone! Working contract duties gives you an experience that Federal policing never will! Been there, done that on both side of the equation! Or at least don’t call that new Federal Police force RCMP because they won’t be anything like it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, the FBI has it issues, so does the RCMP. Also true making the RCMP federal only will not be the same RCMP. When the RCMP was named the RCMP it was not involved in everything you and I have known the RCMP to be. I think we have to accept that Policing is changing, so will the RCMP and personnally I prefer looking forward than in the rear view miror. There is a great article this morning about how the RCMP will change its Federal Policing model, hiring diversified skills such as accountants, computer specialists, data scientists, profilers etc combining front line policing with civilian expertise support etc. This is somewhat motivated by technological advances and increased complexities of the world moving forward. Combining contract policing, federale policing, civilian expertise in investigating multidisciplinary teams properly supported by technologies cannot be stopped I think. We can regret it or accept it. I am interested in the forward possibilities. Interesting times

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    2. Sorry, can’t disagree with you more. I served for 24 and a day and I left when I should have, it is a younger persons job. Investigators are trained and the best training is on the street doing the job. The best trait of any investigator is “common sense” and I haven’t seen any University offering degrees in that talent.

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      1. I agree that eduction does not give common sense talent. It gives you many other things, knowledge in the choose domains of study, openess of mind, thinking outside the box, expert skills in choosen fields and those coupled with common sense makes for a solid combination in my view. The point I was making, or tried to make, is policing is changing whether we like it or not. Organizations adapt or perish, and so its employees who have a key role in keeping their organization relevant or profitable in the private sector.

        So that leaves the question …..do police forces adapt to this constant change, most of it fueled by technology advances and evolving best practices, or do they keep wishing it remains the way it was?

        This debate or argument is a moot point. Things change so rapidly it makes everyone’s head spin. You stick with it, leverage it to continuously improve or you get out of the way and have a few beers reminicing about the way it was. Neither models are good or bad. To each its own. There is no wrong or right here. You choose the life you want essentially.

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  5. Articles like yours are long overdue as there should be more letters from ex-members who should have been at the forefront of trying to make the organization a better place for newcomers. I have been sending letters to various echelons of the Force to institute change and, again, they try to placate me with smoke and mirrors and say they are looking into the problem. We know that means they hope either I or the problem will go away. The government is doing absolutely nothing to help this organization and I am not just talking about wages. Anytime something viable to maintain and help members with such simple things as kit, clothing, moving expenses, providing housing, mobilization – has been taken away from them. There was a time members had confidence in management and felt they were protected – whereas nowadays political correctness and laying members out for criticism and corrective action outweighs fixing the problems. Appease the public and political masters is the main goal. The ship is indeed floundering with managers who care more about their own personal gains than that of the members doing the work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Excellent article, bang on in every way…clearly your source conveyed the clear message that the ” emporer has no clothes.” This org has been a walking zombie for at least the last decade if not two. It desperately needs a complete overhaul and it starts with culling the dead weight at the top. As an active member I routinely discuss comparables with friends in muni- forces, and we are decades behind, in almost every category. And management scrambles to make us a viable, and attractive option to those seeking such a career!??…yet they fail miserably and ask why??? it’s a joke. This is frankly abominable that we have come to this point, which clearly reveals the desperate neglect and
      Utter crippling environment members are now in. I can only hope more articles like this are written highlighting the gross incompetence at play here. Encore…encore.

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  6. Thanks for your insight and I am sure your sources were speaking from their experiences. My love for the Force will not die. It saved me and I would not sue it. My career permitted me to witnessed successes in diverse investigations, HR projects, Internal Affairs allegations, as well as to serve four terms as a DSRR. Many of my era 1969 – 2002 say we served during the best time to police. We always stated that Commissioner should not be a quasi deputy minister of the Federal Government for obvious reasons. Our HR program pushed upon the Force by the Feds was the first an primary cause of our demise. This negatively affected our hiring and promotion policies only to name two. We have lost the former support of the people we serve. We joined to help not to intimidate – to prosecute not persecute. Your comment about the DSRR’s ethic vs their assessments is not my experience – quite the opposite when given a bad one in 1986 for doing my job. I was supported, not the CO of the day after just hinting to senior management of the abusive comments made against me. The Force is a proud para military entity that must serve, protect, solve crime and fairly provide evidence to an unbiased blindfolded lady holding the scales of justice. If you can not supply those services in the manner members before you have done, you have failed those who made the sacrifices made without fear favour or affection in order to ensure to our employers, that we were the best policing option available. It truly hurts to see what is happening to the Force today!

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    1. I agree with you Simon. This article seems one sided in many respects. I am disappointed by its negativity. I have collaborated with the Div Rep Program for many years and can attest to the commitment of the reps to help the members. I was proud to be a civilian member of the Force, and not a “civilian officer” as the author erroneously writes. I had a great career with the Force, i did not always agree with the decisions being made, but it would the same anywhere else.

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  7. Great article. Dare I say reflective of the many independent studies conducted over the years such as the Brown report et al. We have known for many years (most of my 34 anyway) what many of the problems were and often what the solution might be.
    I will just pick on one. A promotional system which purports to be competency based yet disregards completely a members annual assessment of the competencies required in the position they actually occupy. Further, absolutely no review of the work they perform on a day to day basis outside of the two examples per competency that they themselves provided. Onward to a competency review board that has such undefined operating parameters that it is forbidden for a member to have competency examples reviewed by two different boards. The justifiable fear (this actually happened to me) that one board may confirm a level has been reached while another will say it has not. What evidence based system or area of scientific study would utilize such a method? Finally the entire promotional package is passed on to a single decision maker who may choose any aspect of the package to justify their decision to award a promotion. The decision maker is not bound by any of the desirables that were outlined in the advertisement for the position and may actually select a member who has no experience in the “business line” over those who do. Then there is the mysterious concept of “fit”. Measurable qualifications aside, the idea of “fit” can mean anything.

    As an aside, if I had a large business and my HR staff eliminated a candidate from a promotion because their photocopy was missing a signature, I would be hiring a new HR member.

    It will be interesting to see what kind of changes come about. Especially for me as I work to return as a Reservist. All is not lost. The Force simply needs to come into the modern age and accept that civilian oversight at the management level outside of the political arena is likely the road to continued existence. After all, it is the citizens of Canada that the RCMP is suppose to serve and they don’t want the political winds of the day to set the heading.

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  8. Interesting thoughts however there are some inaccuracies. Civilian Member Telecommunications Operators and Intercept Monitors have already unionized in fact they were the first Members of the RCMP to do so. LES-TO and LES-IM along with their Public Service counterparts have chosen CUPE for their representation. Some other Civilian Members who were already pay matched will become PSAC members upon deeming in 2020 as you implied, but not all Civilian Members and certainly not those who have already unionized with CUPE.

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  9. Another great analysis by Pete Cross. As a current servicing member I find this assessment of the current state of affairs to be accurate. I happen to share the concerns mentioned by Pete about the NPF. However, they appear to be our union-to-be and I hope they will not carry their Div Rep baggage with them.

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  10. An excellent article. The issues are described in a well balanced fashion. The potential array of issues that will occur as the membership unionize seems complete and well thought through. While I agree the DSSR system served the RCMP well for a while, in its early years mostly, this structure could not shake the perception it was controlled by management and could not fully represent the rank and file. I have never been a fan of unions but it may be a significant part of the solution now at this point in time. Historically unions have help improve working conditions. Recent history however show they are pricing their organizations out of business on the world stage. While this may not be so for policing some may add, this article show significant increase in costs for RCMP Services. So be it. Contract terms and conditions, obligations and privileges will be clearer for all, and more importantly will be negotiated in the open…hopefully.

    That being said, unionization will not solve everything. Should the RCMP become a Federal Police Force only, issues now plaguing “uniform policing” will be relegated to newly from Provincial Police Forces. I suppose this one way to solve them for the RCMP and offload to the Provinces and Municipalities.The divide between Contract Policing vs Federal policing may be solved by this as well. I can’t help being sad at that prospect but saving the RCMP seems more important for Canada and Canadians, that its disbandment altogether. The RCMP is still a good organization. It needs refreshed ideas, the RCMP Act needs to sanction a multidisciplinary Governance approach, and agile thinking, not only to prevent or solve issues raised in this article but also to prevent bullying, abuse of powers by the few, unduly protected by this Act.

    Given the technology advances and new Business Models emerging everywhere because of it, the RCMP has access to many possibilities to modernize itself. Of course the Political level has to facilitate it. For a long time I thought, especially after 9/11, that one police force across Canada, using the same systems would go a long way for the RCMP to “always get their man”. Of course this is costly. The cost of being “siloed” across the country, maintaining and replacing disparate systems is costlier, not only in direct costs such as system acquisition one time and ongoing costs including interoperability across systems, but also in cost of investigating to provide effective and efficient policing. This may be Big Brother to many. It won’t happen because of that, so no sense being in that camp anymore.

    With regards to “C” Division, or Québec, the French English divide is accentuated, I believe, by the Contract vs Federal Policing dimension. It isn’t as bad as it seems in my mind, but it may be. I have seen lots of great cooperation across the Force regardless of the Division the members were working from. Many lasting friendships have formed across the Force and with other police forces regardless of language. Of course this was mostly enabled by bilingual abilities, mostly French being able to speak the second official language but not only.

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  11. Pete,

    Very well done. Your post on the unionization of the force is right on. I hope the change that is coming does not destroy the organization. I would hate to see the ship sink.

    all the best Shane Tuckey

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  12. Pete,
    Do you know whether top management of the Force have read and commented on your above observations, as well as the many responses you have received from members and ex-members?

    Just me being curious.

    Jim Scott (Retired in 1991 after 31 great years of service; mostly in the old “G” Division.)

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  13. There are not many members of the Force past or present who have much familiarity within a union environment. Current management at the upper levels are ill prepared and lack the leadership to cope with the changes. Perhaps courses about “Organizational Behavior in Management” would bring about the realization there is a better way to lead.
    If unionization is wrong are we to assume the unionized police departments across Canada are failures? I don’t think so!
    Having been in a union/policing environment the 1.6% in dues was a drop in the bucket when better working conditions and pay were substantially better.

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  14. Your comments are biased towards unionization. The Rep program was very effective when dealing with individual issues. The Pay Council assured pay equity up until the the 2008 Expeditures Restraint Act, which by the way, affected all Public Service Unions. The SRR program was based on a collaboative approach to Labour Relations. The Members will suffer under the new regime. The unionists, are to blame for the current state of pay and benefits for our Members. The last battle out of C Div demonstrates an attitude by some that has proven a negative for our Members. Hopefully the future is gonna be bright but that will be in no part due to the unionists or the Government move in 08.

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