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Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
Reputation: 104
votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:53 am    Post subject: making the fight even harder Reply with quote

As I've mentioned in the past, politics sometimes comes up during coffee break or lunch. I don't always lead the conversation but I participate and advocate for conservatism. Most of my coworkers are small "c" conservatives but many of them vote (or voted) Liberal. In many cases, they've done so because they perceived (right or wrong) that the Liberal Party was the party of tolerance, the mushy middle, neither left nor right. It's pretty easy, with a few pointed examples, to point out just how wrong that perception is and I like to think I've swayed a few.

Since the most recent election, some of them acknowledge voted Conservative. So far, I've yet to hear anyone express support for the coalition. That being said, the Conservatives aren't making it easy for me to advocate on their behalf.

Recently, the Treasury Board decided roll back the multi-year wage package which was signed off back in July 2008. By law, the RCMP is not permitted to unionize and therefore we don't have collective bargain rights so basically we must take what the Treasury Board decides with no recourse.

While I don't feel we're unpaid and this rollback won't break me, the concept of being dealt with so arbitrarily grates on the nerves.

The reason we achieved a multi-year wage package was because our Staff Relations Representatives (a rough equivalent to shop steward, they're supposed to advocate on behalf of Mounties) hired a firm with expertise in compensation and put together a package designed to make it easier to retain current employees and attract new ones. They provided comparisons to other major police forces in Canada.

Woven into this convoluted story is "Change Management Committee" which is charged with implementing the 49 or so recommendations of the Brown Task Force to address the mess left over from the Zack years.

ANYWAY, by arbitrarily rolling back our wage package, the Treasury Board has basically told the Mounties that they're not really all that concerned about retention or hiring. No notification. No due process. Take it and shut up.

Unfortunately, the new Commissioner (an experienced bureaucrat picked to help clean up Zack's mess) stuck his foot firmly in it by broadcasting an email to all Mounties lecturing us on how it was our responsibility to accept this decision and get over it. Needless to say, unhappy Mounties.

The SRR group haven't taken this laying down. They're having the compensation expert review the decision to see if it's legally actionable... and they've suggested Mounties should contact their Members of Parliament.

Another thing they've done is modify the website which they started as a way to support public safety. They're providing some information, talking points, example emails, etc for those who wish to contact their Members of Parliament.

http://www.callforbackup.ca/

Give it a read through and see what you think.

I'm frustrated because I've been trying to convince my coworkers that the Conservatives are the party to support and this makes the fight even harder.

I understand there's a possibility the Armed Forces might be similar rolled back. If that true, it would be disastrous since the Conservatives spent a couple of years claiming they're supporting the Armed Forces and a rollback would be seen as a particularly bitter betrayal.

-Mac
Craig
Site Admin




Joined: 29 Aug 2006
Posts: 4415
Reputation: 47.8Reputation: 47.8Reputation: 47.8Reputation: 47.8Reputation: 47.8
votes: 36

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My wife works through a hospital and in their recent contract negotiations the hospital negotiator told them if they didn't like the offer they could find a job somewhere else. It pissed my wife off but at the end of the day she has it WAY better than I do working in the private sector. I think public sector employees across the board need a reality check...
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
Reputation: 104
votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Craig wrote:
My wife works through a hospital and in their recent contract negotiations the hospital negotiator told them if they didn't like the offer they could find a job somewhere else. It pissed my wife off but at the end of the day she has it WAY better than I do working in the private sector. I think public sector employees across the board need a reality check...

That doesn't sound like negotiation to me... Was she actually there to hear that remark or was it relayed by her union rep? It sounds like something a union rep would say to try to stir the pot.

I hear what you're saying. Unionization encourages mediocrity and high wages. The RCMP isn't quite like the average public sector employee.

First off, we're not unionized and can never be. We're deemed "essential" and therefore cannot strike. We are subject to laws which do not apply to anyone else, both in the RCMP Act (federal legislation) and the Criminal Code. Then there's that whole "putting your life in danger on a daily basis" thing which usually isn't a concern for most public sector employees. I'm fairly sure there's a few other difference as well but you get my point.

-Mac
FF_Canuck





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 3360
Reputation: 73.4
votes: 17
Location: Southern Alberta

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a total bone-head move on the CPC's part, no doubt. I've got a few friends who are Mounties, and I've already got an earful about the situation from some of them. Of all the places to trim the budget, they nail an organization with endemic recruitment problems, and some of the few public employees we have who are underpaid!? This stinks, big time. My MP isn't connected to the Treasury Board, but he is on Public Safety... I'll be letting him know what I think about this.
Rusty Bedsprings





Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 1629

votes: 5

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ya I would not be surprised that the RCMP are underpaid because the military are. A Second lieutenant in the Canadian Military only gets 40,000 grand a year and I talking full time. Don't teachers assistants get more :x .
Hasdrubal





Joined: 30 Oct 2006
Posts: 1112
Reputation: 66
votes: 5
Location: Nova Scotia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If there were any employees in the public service that actually deserved more money it would be those who put their lives on the line especially police & military services. It's insulting to cops, & those serving in the armed forces to see others in the public service such as ***cough*** ***cough*** the CBC get more bang for the buck. So instead of cutting the one billion on a national propaganda machine it should just be re allocated to defencee services & increased pay roll.
ezbeatz





Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Posts: 1140
Reputation: 49.5Reputation: 49.5Reputation: 49.5Reputation: 49.5Reputation: 49.5
votes: 10
Location: Vaughan, ON

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:25 pm    Post subject: Re: making the fight even harder Reply with quote

Mac wrote:
ANYWAY, by arbitrarily rolling back our wage package, the Treasury Board has basically told the Mounties that they're not really all that concerned about retention or hiring. No notification. No due process. Take it and shut up.
-Mac


Hey Mac, I think the RCMP should be reduced in size and restructured. I think they should only handle federal matters and that the federal government allow all the provinces to form their own Provincial Police force like Ontario and Quebec have. I don't think pay should be reduced just the size. Your thoughts?
Mac





Joined: 02 Sep 2006
Posts: 5500
Reputation: 104
votes: 35
Location: John Baird's riding...

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:32 pm    Post subject: Re: making the fight even harder Reply with quote

ezbeatz wrote:
Hey Mac, I think the RCMP should be reduced in size and restructured. I think they should only handle federal matters and that the federal government allow all the provinces to form their own Provincial Police force like Ontario and Quebec have. I don't think pay should be reduced just the size. Your thoughts?

I'm not contrary to that kind of reorganization but I doubt the federal, the provinces or the municipalities would be willing to make such radical changes.

At it is now, the provinces and municipalities which have the RCMP as their police service do so under contract. The federal government pays for a certain percentage at each level. Only federal policing is paid for 100% by the feds and if there is any crossover, it is usually billed back to either the province or the municipality.

Having the feds pay part of the cost means the Mounties provide a cheap service compared to other police services. This is especially true when you factor in some of the benefits of contracting the Mounties like cheaper training costs (economy of scale), access to specialty support services like police dogs, forensic identification (the CSI guys) and others.

As far as the wages, my memory is too long. On the relative scale of things, we're not starving. I was there when Chretien and Martin froze our wages for years in the early 90s and reduced our operating capitol so low that Learning & Development closed Depot (training centre in Regina) so we weren't getting any new recruits. By the end of the freeze, our wages were so low, it wasn't funny. Even then, it was worse for the military than for us. I remember the outrage when the MSM picked up the story of the military families going to food backs in Victoria because the cost of living meant they had to choose between rent and groceries.

The wage package which was rolled back was designed to offer incentive for guys who are ready to retire to delay doing so (retaining experienced employees) and to be attractive for recruiting.

You might not be aware of this but cadets going through the training centre in Regina since the late 90s were unpaid. They were given room & board as well as a small stipend but nothing more because they were not classified as employees. There are a variety of reasons for this but the reality was that most people can ill afford to be without a wage for 6 months. Add that to all the negative press we've had and you can bet Recruiting has their hands full trying to attract quality candidates.

The Mounties have been chronically understaffed since the early 90s but the workload just keeps growing as the population keeps expanding. Add in some really bad management (Zack's team) and you've got a recipe for burnout. That's why we ended up having the Brown Task Force... but the sad part is the writing was already on the wall. Dr. Linda Duxbury did a series of studies for the Mounties and highlighted exactly the same problems which the Brown Task Force ended up writing about but the RCMP upper management (Zack's team) ignored and buried the reports.

-Mac
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