Cranbrook elected officials are adding their voices to a chorus of municipalities serviced by the RCMP speaking out over concerns that local governments are unfairly bearing the financial impacts of retroactive pay resulting from the latest collective bargaining agreement with the national police force.
In the City of Cranbrook’s case, those retroactive pay increases translated into an additional $1 million cost to the city’s budget for municipal policing.
“On behalf of Council, and the residents of this community, we truly appreciate the efforts of all of our hardworking RCMP members, and their dedication to Cranbrook,” says Mayor Wayne Price. “But we are disappointed with the Federal Government’s lack of support for all Canadian communities in this retroactive pay lump sum bill.”
Announced in 2021, the latest collective bargaining agreement with approximately 20,000 regular RCMP members stipulates retroactive pay increases effective April 1, 2017.
Organizations such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) have been lobbying the federal government to provide funding to cover those increased policing costs. However, based on the lack of any dedicated funding out of the recent federal budget, municipalities are expected to absorb those cost increases in their budgets.
Local governments were not included nor consulted during the negotiations, according to the FCM.
While the federal government provided some cost estimates, those numbers clashed with what came out of the final collective bargaining agreement.