MEDIA COVERAGE: Unionized RCMP spells increased costs for municipalities, Goldstream News Gazette, Sept. 12, 2019.
Policing costs in Greater Victoria and the rest of BC will probably be going up, now that 97% of RCMP members nationally have voted to unionize and will be bargaining for higher salaries.
Those costs that will be passed onto the many municipalities that contract with the RCMP include Langford, Colwood, View Royal, Sooke, District of Metchosin, District of Highlands, Songhees First Nation, Sidney and North Saanich.
It’s reported a first class RCMP constable from North Vancouver for example is paid $14,000 per year less than a Vancouver officer doing the same job.
“It’s a game changer and may make regional policing a more attractive option,” says Stan Bartlett, chair of Grumpy Taxpayer$. “It’s the latest hit to municipal budgets that includes the province downloading the employer health tax, union wage and benefit demands, and huge demands on renewing crumbling infrastructure.
“If they are to reach parity with larger forces including VicPD, Saanich, Vancouver, Calgary, and so on, a large increase in pay will be necessary. Some of those increases will probably be passed onto provinces and municipalities, which will push up annual RCMP contract rates well above inflation.”
Over and above pay increases, the National Police Federation union may also push for more officers since RCMP contract policing arrangements run with a significantly higher ratio of population per police officer and workloads than municipal forces. This may also impact on municipal policing costs.
National Police Federation wins the right to represent Mounties in collective bargaining, CBC, July 12, 2019.