Charter rights apply to everyone

Open letter to all Canadians

VANCOUVER, Feb. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - The Mounties are a Canadian icon, recognized and respected around the world. As we celebrate our national pride and support our Olympians, it's important that we also demand fair treatment for the men and women in red who bravely serve in the RCMP.

  • The RCMP is the only police force in Canada not permitted to form an independent labour association—in contravention of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees everyone in Canada the fundamental freedom of association.

  • The RCMP Commissioner has unchecked power to fire members for unsatisfactory performance, for economy and efficiency in the Force, or for reasons other than a contravention of the Code of Conduct. His decision is final; there are no guidelines and no appeal process or supervisory board.
     
  • RCMP Regulations impose the Staff Relations Representative Program (SRRP) for members. The SRRP reports to RCMP management; because the Commissioner is appointed by the Federal Government, the SRRP is politically controlled.

  • PTSD and occupational stress injuries are high. Many RCMP members work long hours and are denied access to their annual leave because detachments are chronically understaffed to save money. Adequate police to population ratios are mandated by collective agreements in other police forces in Canada.

  • The RCMP paid out more than $160.3 million in overtime in 2011/2012 alone! Based on the Force's December 2011 total compensation rate, that could have funded more than 1,450 new members.

  • The RCMP is 57th on the pay scale for police constables out of 85 police forces in Canada, as of December 31, 2013.

Canadians deserve better. On February 18, the Supreme Court of Canada will hear the case to decide if the RCMP Regulations unjustifiably infringe the Charter rights of members of the RCMP. If the Court decides in favour of the Regulations, the ramification is that every collective agreement and unionized workplace in Canada will be in jeopardy because precedent will be set by the ruling. It will be the beginning of the end for collective bargaining in Canada, as employers could justifiably impose labour programs and deny employees the right to select independent associations to bargain on their behalf.

The Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC) aims to replace the SRRP as an independent labour association. MPPAC was established in 2010 to fight for the right to engage in collective bargaining through an independent association on behalf of RCMP regular and civilian members across Canada. We strive for excellence in our conduct and obligations. We provide leadership to all of our membership, in affiliation with the Canadian Police Association, on justice issues which affect the quality of life of all Canadians. The Association does not seek or support the right to strike.

JOIN US. Tell the Government that Charter rights apply to all Canadians and that RCMP members must be allowed to form an independent labour association. Demand that RCMP members be compensated fairly, governed justly, staffed adequately and equipped appropriately to ensure their health and safety on the job. To learn more or to declare your support, visit www.mppac.ca, like us on Facebook and follow us @CanadaMPPAC on Twitter.

Respectfully,

Rae Banwarie
MPPAC President

This document is available as a PDF at http://mppac.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/MPPAC-Open-Letter-to-Canadians-FEB-11-2014-FINAL.pdf.


SOURCE Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada (MPPAC)

For further information:

OFFICE OF THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE

national@mppac.ca