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RCMP collective agreement will cost Burnaby $4M next year

Increase projected to be the equivalent of a 1.39% tax hike, according to a staff report
The City of Burnaby's cost per cop is projected to jump by nearly $14,000 next year.

A collective agreement signed between the RCMP and the federal government will cost the City of Burnaby a projected $4 million extra for its police force next year. 

That’s the equivalent of a 1.39% tax hike, according to a report from the city’s public safety director, Dave Critchley.

Under a somewhat convoluted setup, the province has an agreement with the federal government that allows it to sub-contract the RCMP provincial force to municipalities, including Burnaby.

Burnaby signed its current 20-year contract with the province in April 2012 – but a collective agreement ratified between the National Police Federation and the Government of Canada in August will soon make that agreement a whole lot costlier, according to Critchley’s report.

Under its policing contract, the city pays 90% and the federal government pays 10%.

As a direct result of the collective agreement, Critchley says the city’s cost per cop will jump by nearly $14,000 – and the final impact could be even bigger.

“The true impact of the agreement on benefits is not known at this time, and to date, the city has not received any direct communication regarding the specific amounts of the retroactive payments,” states the report. “In addition, there will be unknown salary increases for the rank of inspector and above, which have yet to be determined however are anticipated to be resolved in the coming months.”

The city has set aside money since 2017 in anticipation of a salary increase “based on information provided by the RCMP,” according to Critchley, but he says the funds have fallen “well short of the increases now contained in the ratified agreement.”

“During the negotiations which commenced in 2019, no local governments were at the bargaining table or consulted,” states the report. “Due to the lack of consultation or engagement in the bargaining process, local governments were completely unable to appropriately plan for the significant increases above the 2.5% as was directed by the RCMP.”

The RCMP signed its first-ever collective agreement after two years of bargaining.

Until a Supreme of Canada ruling in 2015, the force had been legally prevented from unionizing.

RCMP members certified the National Police Federation as their union in 2019.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor

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