On June 19, 2017, federal Bill C-7 received Royal Assent. This bill responds to a January 2015 Supreme Court decision that upheld the RCMP’s right to collective bargaining.
While AUMA supports the RCMP’s right to collective bargaining, we had a number of concerns related to this bill, including:
- Increased policing costs are likely to result from increased RCMP wages negotiated through collective bargaining.
- Staffing levels negotiated by a union may not meet the needs of municipalities.
- Housing non-unionized municipal enforcement staff with unionized RCMP members could create conflict, as workflows and processes may not be the same for staff performing similar functions.
- Allowing collective bargaining to negotiate working conditions and enabling an arbitrator to interpret the RCMP Act may undermine the Commissioner’s authority over operational matters.
AUMA worked with our colleagues at FCM to bring these concerns to the attention of the Minister of Public Safety Canada. As a result, the final text of Bill C-7 includes a management rights clause that is intended to protect the RCMP Commissioner’s powers under the Act, and ensure RCMP operations remain effective.
All orders of government have a role in public safety, yet municipalities pay a rapidly growing share of policing costs. Canada needs a fair and equitable arrangement between all orders of government to plan and resource policing services to meet local needs. As the labour relations regime is implemented, AUMA will continue to work with FCM and federal government to maintain the long-term financial sustainability of RCMP contract policing.