Council concerned with financial impact of RCMP collective agreement
September 20, 2021 / For Immediate Release
AIRDRIE, ALBERTA – The Federal Government and union representing RCMP members, the National Police Federation (NPF) have recently come to an agreement that could have a significant impact to the City’s current and future budgets. The agreement provides a $20,000 salary increase to regular members and reservists, as well as retroactive pay dating back to April 2017.
“Our RCMP members provide Airdrie with an incredible level of service and we sincerely appreciate their effort and contributions to our city and residents,” said Mayor Peter Brown. “We recognize that the RCMP is one of the lowest paid police forces in the country and we support a pay increase for our local members but take issue with the negotiation process set out by our Federal Government counterparts. Our residents will be directly impacted by the government’s failure to involve or inform municipalities and provinces and we hope this financial commitment will not be carried solely by the municipalities the RCMP serve.”
Municipalities and provinces were not included in the negotiations when up to five years of retroactive pay increases were discussed and agreed upon, between the Federal Government and NPF. No information or updates were provided during the negotiation process however the agreement requires that adjustments to current rates of pay be made within 90 days of the signing of the collective agreement on August 6, 2021.
The financial impact on municipalities of this new agreement is substantial. For the City of Airdrie, the one-time retroactive pay amount is approximately $4.0 million which equates to a 6.35 per cent tax increase. When made aware that the retroactive pay increases were included in the collective agreement, the City began proactively planning for this. To date, some funds have been set aside in reserves and will be used to cover a small portion of the retroactive pay.
The new rate of compensation beginning on April 1, 2022 represents a cost increase of approximately $1.2 million to the City of Airdrie’s RCMP Member budget. This represents a 1.8 per cent tax increase, transferring a large financial burden to local ratepayers and substantial pressure on the 2022 budget.
The City of Airdrie has actively participated in the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) advocacy campaign to bring this important issue to the attention of our local Member of Parliament and petitioned the Federal Government to cover the retroactive costs of an agreement that municipalities were not involved in negotiating.
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