As Mounties celebrate pay raise, municipalities look to upcoming budget for federal help | CBC News

Thousands of Mounties will see their wages rise after today thanks to the force’s first ever collective agreement – but the group representing municipalities across the country says many cities and towns need federal aid to cover the bill.

Last summer, the federal government and the union representing RCMP members ratified an agreement to deliver a significant pay rise to nearly 20,000 members.

As of Friday, the constables – who account for more than half of all RCMP officers – will earn up to $ 106,576 – a jump of $ 20,000 since April 2016.

The agreement also includes retroactive wage increases to cover the period when the two sides negotiated.

Taneen Rudyk, vice president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, said the municipalities were not at the negotiating table and are now looking at massive bills that – depending on the size of a municipality – can range from thousands of dollars to millions.

The cost of RCMP contract services in a municipality or region – including salaries and equipment – is shared between Ottawa and other levels of government.

“What we were advised to prepare for, estimates of about 2.5 percent per year, actually turned out to be well below the final agreement of 23.7 percent over six years, which is retroactive salary that goes back to 2017. And that can we really “I can not cope with that kind of increase,” says Rudyk, a city councilor for the city of Vegreville, Alta., about an hour east of Edmonton.

Unlike other levels of government, municipalities cannot have deficits.

“We have to make cuts in our services or otherwise make some really difficult decisions with huge tax increases for our citizens,” Rudyk said.

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities has asked the federal government to include money in next week’s budget to cover the municipalities’ retroactive costs in connection with the implementation of the new salary scale.

“We are not really talking about the caliber of policing or community support that we receive from the RCMP and we are not really talking about whether they deserve this retroactive assistance or not,” Rudyk said.

Wage rates for an RCMP constable, according to the collective agreement signed in August. (Secretariat of the Tax Agency)

“What we’re talking about is the real fact that we were not consulted, we were not at the negotiating table and the bill was given to us de facto. And it just does not work.”

Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino said the RCMP must offer reasonable compensation for recruiting and retaining officials. He also indicated that talks are underway to address the extra cost to the municipalities.

“The short answer is … yes,” he said on Wednesday.

“We work very closely with municipalities as well as with provincial governments that contract the RCMP as a jurisdictional police force.”

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