RCMP Contract Management Committee Update

On April 27, 2017, the Local Government Contract Management Committee (LGCMC) met with provincial and RCMP representatives to discuss issues related to the RCMP contract and policing in British Columbia. This article highlights key issues discussed at the meeting.

Please note: this information is accurate as of April 27, 2017.

1)    Working Group Discussion Items

Five Year Review Item Updates
Committee members discussed some of the issues being addressed by the various Five Year Review sub-committees, including technical items (conversion of civilian employees, updating the Police Service Agreement with current information, applicable interest to overdue payments); emergencies and special events; dispute resolution; governance and authorities, consultation, expectations, roles and responsibilities; review of standard tables; and allocation of budgets within accommodations programs. Arguably the most frequently mentioned local government issue throughout the review has been the need for improved communication.

Supplemental Health Benefits
A few specific categories under members’ supplemental health benefits are set to increase. It is expected that any current changes are to be cost-neutral to the BC policing budget and funded from within the existing federal health benefits envelope.

RCMP Pension Review
RCMP pension reviews are conducted every three years. After review of the Actuarial Report on the Pension Plan for the RCMP, the Pension Panel has recommended a rate of 19.07% (for three years, commencing April 1, 2018), a reduction from the previous rate of 22.7%. This equates to $9.5 million in annual savings (at cost share) for BC local governments, a total of $28.5 million over the three year term.

RCMP Pay Increases
RCMP members last received a salary increase in 2014. Recently, the Treasury Board approved a 1.25% raise (retroactive to January 1, 2015), another 1.25% raise (retroactive to January 1, 2016), as well as a 2.3% market adjustment for RCMP members ranked Superintendent and below. The RCMP has previously told partners to plan for a 2.5% increase so that there is no surprise.

RCMP Member Leave Management
In April 2016 the RCMP presented their update on RCMP Member Leave Management to the national CMC, advising that the excess leave issue for non-officer equivalent civilian members (CMs) needed to be addressed before the conversion of CMs to Public Service Employees (PSE) occurs, to adequately manage the liquidation of “excess” leave and limit pay-out liabilities. LGCMC members have previously conveyed concerns related to the burden that immediate payouts would place on most local governments.

Police Dog Service Training Centre
The Committee has previously discussed the Police Dog Service Training Centre (PDSTC) review, and in particular the option of having a hub outside the national training centre in Alberta, in order to lower costs and maintain service levels. The Province has provided feedback to the RCMP regarding its scoping document, conveying concern that the review was not broad enough in scope to answer pertinent questions. Provincial feedback recommended that a steering committee be formed, an independent contractor perform the review, and that the scope be expanded to beyond Canada to examine comparators and best practices.

Municipal Companion Document Working Group
The first draft was completed in Spring 2016, with the Working Group having recently completed its first review of all articles. The Province is currently in the process of updating the document to reflect changes made by the Working Group; updating the document with other pertinent changes (e.g. OIC selection process); and having BC legal counsel provide a review. Once these tasks are completed, the Working Group will conduct another review, prior to submitting the document to the LGCMC for review.

Integrated Detachment OIC Selection
The Committee discussed the potential development of a clear process for OIC selection. Currently, some local governments prefer to have elected official input, while others prefer only staff take part in the selection process. The Committee discussed how there might not be a ‘one size fits all’ solution/policy to best address this process.

Shared Services Canada
Members have previously discussed the service delivery issues and inefficiencies experienced as a result of the federal government’s creation of Shared Services Canada. Members continued to express frustration with the challenges experienced with procurement of basic supplies.

2)    RCMP Update

Auxiliary Constable Program (AC)
The Committee was given an update on the AC, as recent changes will see the Program move to a tiered model (consistent with the results of UBCM’s October 2016 survey). There will be meetings to consult on the duty matrix, tier liabilities, and uniforms, among other issues. Final decisions have not been made, with the RCMP expressing interest to first consult both provincial and municipal partners (including detachment commanders and local governments).

Personal Protective Equipment / Fume Hoods / Ion Scanners
An update was provided on items related to providing the tools necessary for RCMP members to handle and process highly toxic substances (e.g. fentanyl). The RCMP explained that these tools were just one response, as discussions continue with the national health and division health officers. The Province is hoping to access funds to continue to provide naloxone to detachments.

Update on RCMP Pay Increases
RCMP representatives noted that local governments were given sufficient notice prior to the announcement of the pay increase, which was less than expected. Future pay increases are expected to come via the collective bargaining process and unionization that is likely to result in the near future.

Opioid Response Update
Recently, the federal government pledged $10 million in support funding to BC, and $65 million to support a national response. Nationally, the RCMP is working on coordination on interdiction as part of its national solution. The RCMP also noted that the Centre for Addictions Research in BC (CARBC) has funding available for local governments to access and use to provide fentanyl forums.

Vacancy Report
The LGCMC has been requesting the provincial vacancy report (from the RCMP) for over a year. While quarterly reports are still being produced, the RCMP would like to move to real-time vacancy information.

Disability Case Management
The new disability case management system has helped bring people back to work; the majority of off duty sick members are on a gradual return to work program with additional members anticipated to return over the next two years. The eight disability case managers are collectively saving more money than they cost as a result of members returning back to work. The RCMP has not asked for new money for this initiative, taking costs out of division administration.

Shared Services Canada (SSC)
Following-up on the issues communicated by LGCMC members at the November 2016 meeting, RCMP representatives notified the LGCMC that the federal government now has an understanding of the challenges facing SSC. The way forward will be to remove roadblocks that currently exist.

Senior Management Changes
In addition to the retirement of RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson, the RCMP is in the process of identifying someone to backfill for Brenda Butterworth-Carr. Going forward, this individual will represent the RCMP at LGCMC meetings.

Emergency Response Team
The RCMP has completed its national review of the Emergency Response Team. Prior to the RCMP discussing this with the Province, the RCMP/PSD Policy and Finance Operations Steering Committee will examine the results. The RCMP also endeavours to discuss this report with the LGCMC, although no timelines were given.

Police Dog Service
RCMP National was requested by the National Contract Management Committee to conduct a review of the Police Dog Services. RCMP National advised that they did not have the capacity for the review and indicated that a directed review of the program occur and be funded by the Provinces and Territories.

A Divisional review of Police Dog Services has been completed and RCMP are now in the process of determining how many dogs are required to meet the municipalities service level demands.

Supplemental Health Benefits
RCMP representatives explained that dental coverage was being increased from $2000/member to $4000/member, which is why supplemental health benefits have increased by approximately $40/member. This increase will not be significant, and will be reflected in the next 5 year plan.

The Local Government Contract Management Committee would appreciate your feedback on any of the RCMP contract and other policing issues identified above. UBCM members who have questions or comments are encouraged to contact Bhar Sihota, UBCM Policy Analyst.

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