Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Langley City joins other municipalities in calling on the feds not to bargain with municipal dollars without including us at the table for future RCMP agreements

In 2021, the federal government reached its first collective agreement with RCMP members and reservists.

The agreement included a 24% increase in salary for Constables (from $86,110 in 2016 to $106,576 in 2022), applied retroactively.

I’m entirely in support of collective bargaining, but one of the challenges with this bargaining process was that the federal government negotiated with the National Police Federation while they left local governments in the dark. This bargaining in the dark is problematic because local governments help fund over 70% of RCMP members’ salaries.

Langley City set aside over $3.3 million to cover the new collective agreement, but because the new salaries and retroactive pay were larger than we expected, we have to raise an additional $1.5 million in property tax as part of the 2022 Langley City budget to cover the new collective agreement.

Over 90% of Langley City’s 2022 budget expenditure increase was due to RCMP policing costs.

This RCMP Collective Agreement runs from 2017-23, so the federal government will again start the bargaining process with the National Police Federation.

Langley City is joining other local governments in Canada, calling for the federal government to ensure we are “actively involved in any future processes regarding contract policing.”

As a result, Langley City Council passed the following motion on April 17th.

WHEREAS, The Government of Canada has made the decision in Budget 2023 to make municipalities responsible for all retroactive costs stemming from the latest RCMP collective bargaining agreement; and
WHEREAS, These extraordinary one-time costs, which in some jurisdictions amount to millions of dollars, will cause significant hardship for communities and residents across the country, and were negotiated without meaningful consultation or a seat at the table for the municipalities responsible for paying the bill; and
WHEREAS, Municipal governments are already paying a growing share of policing costs, but unlike other orders of government, cannot run deficits to spread out the impact of these extraordinary one-time sums, and have limited revenue tools; and
WHEREAS, Local governments will now be forced to make difficult decisions that will impact residents, such as cutting essential services, reducing policing levels, raising property taxes significantly, and/or cancelling work on local infrastructure, at a time when Canadians’ concerns about community safety and the cost of living are already rising; and
WHEREAS, Going forward, it is critical that municipalities be proactively engaged in any forthcoming processes related to contract policing to prevent this occurring again;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the City of Langley joins the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in calling on the federal government to commit to ensuring that local governments are meaningfully consulted, fully informed, and at the table on issues related to policing costs given the municipal role in keeping our communities safe;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the City of Langley conveys this support in writing to local Members of Parliament.

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