Update on National Contract Management Committee

The first of the bi-annual meetings of the RCMP National Contract Management Committee (CMC) was held on April 12-14, 2016 in Ottawa. Committee members discussed various policing issues of interest to local governments, including auxiliary constables; the new labour relations regime; directed reviews; and the Five Year Review of RCMP Agreements.

The CMC is the forum that was created for consultation and communication between the Provinces/Territories (PTs) and Public Safety Canada/RCMP with respect to managing the RCMP contracts across the country. Local government representatives from British Columbia, Alberta, and Nova Scotia attend the meetings. A detailed list of issues is documented below, as summarized during a May 18, 2016 Local Government Contract Management Committee teleconference:

Auxiliary Constable Program

BC’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Morris, recently met with federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, to discuss the feedback received from BC’s communities regarding recent changes to the Auxiliary Constable Program (ACP). The federal government has shown a willingness to re-examine all changes that have taken place, and engage in discourse with PTs. Recently, both the Province and the RCMP conducted separate surveys on the ACP, inviting local governments to provide feedback.

RCMP Labour Relations Regime

The new legislation (Bill C-7) that permits collective bargaining for RCMP members continues to make its way through the House of Commons approval process. It currently sits with the Senate, having made its way through third reading on May 11, 2016. The deadline to pass legislation was May 17, leaving RCMP members in a position where it is unclear as to their legal rights and privileges. It is unsure whether the Senate will approve this legislation before the summer recess. All PTs are under the assumption that there will be a full collective bargaining unit for RCMP members at some point in the near future.

Disability Case Management

The RCMP has implemented a disability case management program based on a pilot conducted in New Brunswick. Case managers have been hired at E-Division whose primary duty is to aid those on disability leave to get back to work in an efficient manner. At a national level, the program is expected to cost about $4 million per year, which will be more than recouped by reducing the cost of having people off on disability leave, which is currently costing over $100 million per year. This is a self-funded program that will be paid for out of savings to divisional administrative costs.

Management of Excessive Annual Leave

The RCMP is looking at industry comparators to see what the maximum annual leave carry-over is in other police organizations. They are looking to potentially limit the number of hours officers can accumulate and carry over. The PTs, while accepting this research, have made it known that they expect excessive leave to be managed from within their existing RCMP budgets, and that they do not want a situation that requires payouts from affected municipalities.

Directed Reviews

Under the previous RCMP Agreements, PTs and municipalities paid a flat rate of $3500/member for cadet training, recruiting and police dogs. Under the new Agreements, after a phase in period of 3 years, PTs and municipalities would go from paying a flat rate to actual costs (cost recovery) for these National Programs. Phase one (information gathering and exploratory phase) of a Directed Review of the Cadet Training Program at Depot, and National Recruiting has recently been completed by an independent firm. PTs are expected to discuss this report and next steps in more detail in the near future.

Departmental Security Clearance

There have been some delays in getting security clearances for RCMP members. The Deputy Commissioner is acutely aware of the backlog and is striving to put measures in place to expedite the process. The Province offered to explore opportunities to lend its security branch (based on RCMP certification) to be used for advance security clearance purposes.

Blood Spatter Analysis

Blood spatter analysis is a forensic identification function that has evolved over the past 25 years. Historically, along with forensic imaging, the federal government had previously covered these costs. The RCMP is looking to allocate this cost to the partners. However, since these costs were outside the cost base at the beginning of the 2012 PPSA, the item cannot be changed until agreed to by the CMC. It was pointed out that while these additional items may be fully justified, they require a process and consultation on when/how these costs will be incurred.

Several months ago, the Province of BC agreed that the RCMP could transfer these 3-4 blood spatter analysis positions to the Province, who would pick up the costs. Municipalities will not be billed for this service, with the only exception being “extraordinary incremental costs”.

Five-Year Review of RCMP Agreements

All items put forward at the national level by the Province (on behalf of BC local governments) were accepted. For additional information, please see UBCM’s June 1, 2016 article regarding the Five Year Review.

New Entrants Guidelines

The current policy states that if a municipality enters into RCMP contract policing, without ever previously having been policed by the federal government, it must pay 100% of the costs (as opposed to 90% or 70% like other municipalities). PTs have asked for the federal government and the RCMP to re-consider this policy, especially since there are cases where it makes sense to amalgamate policing jurisdictions. Amalgamation is made difficult because the current regulation states that if one of the amalgamating jurisdictions is not under RCMP authority, then the new amalgamated area is treated as a new entrant and must pay 100% of RCMP costs.

Budget Overages

This issue was raised by another PT whose municipalities have been billed over their budget caps. RCMP believes that billing at actual cost can go over the budget cap, if necessary. PTs have taken a strong view that detachment commanders are not to spend beyond their budget caps, unless authorized by Council. This issue highlights the importance of communication between detachment commanders and local governments.

Shared Services Canada

The report from the federal Auditor General lends further support to the notion that Shared Services Canada (SSC) is inefficient. Public Safety Canada is taking the issues raised by PTs very seriously as it examines SSC. Despite inefficiencies and allegations, it appears that a shared service model is still desired at the federal level.

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