RCMP Police Costs Update

The Local Government Contract Management Committee (LGCMC) continues to work with the Province in its ongoing discussions with the Federal Government regarding RCMP policing costs. There are currently three key initiatives under discussion that could significantly impact local government expenditures: pension contribution rates, termination and liquidation of severance pay, and Green Timbers.

The first is an assessment by the Federal Government of the RCMP Pension Plan that indicated it has an actuarial deficit. Under the RCMP Agreement, the employer is responsible for any deficits under the pension plan and the employer pension contribution rate will need to increase to cover these costs. The latest Pension Panel report indicates the new pension contribution rate for provinces, territories and local governments effective April 1, 2014 will be 20.23% of pensionable salary. This is 4.65% more than the current rate of 15.58% and is somewhat less than the earlier estimate of 6% the Province received because the rate now reflects an increase in the employee contribution rate. The Province has written to the Federal Government to ask what mitigation strategies it intends to take to minimize the impact on the Province and local governments.

The second is the announcement by the Federal Government in the 2012 Federal budget that it was terminating RCMP Members' entitlement to accumulate severance pay for voluntary resignations and retirements as of March 31, 2012. RCMP Members were given the option to cash out severance entitlements accumulated up to March 31, 2012 and the RCMP has paid out the majority of these payments. The average severance payout per Member is estimated by the RCMP to be $20,000. The Province was not consulted about these changes and continues to negotiate with the Federal Government to determine the total cost that is payable and the options for amortizing the cost.

The third issue is the ongoing negotiations with the Federal Government regarding the cost of Green Timbers. The RCMP began relocating its Provincial Headquarters to Green Timbers earlier this year and the relocation is expected to be complete in the coming weeks. Except for the location, the Province was not consulted in the decision to build Green Timbers. In the RCMP Financial Plan projections for 2013/2014, an estimated budget allowance of $1,200 per regular member has been built in, however no agreement has yet been reached on the costs the Province or local governments will share.

The Province advised the Federal Government in February 2013 that it wishes to determine the aggregate financial implications of these issues before an agreement is reached on any of the individual items. Negotiations on these issues continue. A full meeting of the National Contract Management Committee is scheduled for May, at which time we expect to receive additional information from the Federal Government. UBCM will provide further updates as new information becomes available.

The Local Government Contract Management Committee (LGCMC) is a joint committee created to provide a forum for consultation, analysis and communication between Local Government and the Province regarding the management of the Agreement under which the RCMP provide local police services in B.C. A representative from the LGCMC attends meetings of the National Contract Management Committee.

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