13 thoughts on “Breaking News

  1. Gentlemen:
    I have very serious concerns with the Commissioner’s continued attempts to push forward our last pay negotiation. When the SCC declared our past labour negotiation mechanism unconstitutional, and gave the federal government a deadline to rectify it, a deadline they have ignored with apparent impunity, should that not have nullified any of the “tainted” processes that were pending? At the very least, I would have thought it should at least have scuttled the portion of the pending agreements that would come into effect following the SCC decision.

    I am not a strong believer in coincidence. It is my opinion that the current government is stalling the passage of C-7 in order to forestall the inevitable and meanwhile the Commissioner seems to be taking full advantage of the very obvious vacuum that exits in our representation, one which he helped orchestrate by unilaterally scuttling the SRR Program that essentially robbed the collective membership of any meaningful representation mechanism. I had read your previous posting with regard to seeing the delay in the passage of bill C-7 as a bit of a blessing with mixed feelings.

    My feelings on the matter are no longer mixed. I am of the opinion that damage is being done daily to both individual members and to groups of members, some of it irreversible and irreparable, by senior RCMP management as it runs roughshod over the unrepresented membership. I am hoping that there is some form of pressure that can be brought to bear on the current government to pass C-7 and am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on what can be done. We are on the verge of yet another multi-month parliamentary break, surely I can’t be the only member who has expressed frustration and worry with what is going on and how long this has taken.

    I have had a 26+ year run with the RCMP and never, at any point in that time, have I felt as much mistrust toward senior management as I do currently. I didn’t ever think I would ever miss Commissioner Elliot.


    J. Robilliard

  2. Gentlemen:

    I saw the announcement of the pay package earlier in the day. I note that it represents an actual loss of ground of inflation is taken into account. I also noted with appropriate disdain that there was a lack of detail with respect to any sort of implementation date or time frame for when the members can expect to see this big wind fall. I also couldn’t help but notice the Commissioner’s tone when telling us how lucky we were to be getting this generous settlement so shortly after he saw fit to award generous performance bonuses to senior managers. There isn’t even a pretence of empathy or the slightest sign that he is worried about the optics of his actions. The word of the day is unscrupulous. Just one more thing I was hoping you could clarify for me and possibly other members; what is the “market adjustment” and does everyone get this or is it just earmarked for those living in high rent localities like the GTA, Vancouver and the like?

    Any insights you have would be most appreciated.

    Biding my time until June 30th.


    Jamie Robilliard

  3. This new pay package speaks to the preserving of cost of living for those in Fort McMurray, is there going to be any push for similar high cost of living area like the lower mainland BC where the cost of living is even greater?

  4. I was a Shop Steward and Plant representative for the International Woodworkers of America. I was a sub-rep in the SRR Program for several years. I see a key issue, will Treasury Board look at this as a “first” contract or accept the current working pay and benefits as an existing contract.

  5. Well gentlemen it’s been an eventful week. So much accomplished and yet so much more to do and prepare for. Congratulations to those early brave souls who put themselves out there and removed their yellow stripes, they risked reprisal but firmly stood their ground. Kudos should go out to all who quickly joined them as well, to steady the line. At first it looked like management was going to take a hard line and phrases like “Code of Conduct” were being dropped in order to bully the early few into submission. What an about face occurred when, instead of submission, the bully got a thousand- fold show of member unity. Now the tone is contrite from the boss. He seeks our understanding, and tells us that he “gets it” and uses the word “we” alot. Sorry to say that I am not buying this for a second. He can’t manage to even get through his “Act of Contrition” memo before he starts reminding us how fortunate we were that he and Uncle Ralph had our backs, did some heavy lifting, got us a really sweet deal. He “gets it” like Marie Antoinette got it with her “Let them eat cake.” statement. I’ll know that he really “gets it” when he just stops talking.

    In the meantime I will enjoy watching the little odometer on the NPF site merrily clicking away as each new member joins the association and counting down the days to Canada day, not so much because I profess to be any more patriotic than any other Canadian, but because I plan on holding my own “gone party” as it will be the first day of the rest of our collective RCMP careers.

    Keep the faith all and know you have our support. The best defense against a bully has proven to be, once again, to stand up to him.

    J. Robilliard

  6. Here we go again! Out with the old boss and in with the new – same old same old. The acting Commissioner has shown his true self on this one. The new OR/OA provisions are evidence that the new commander is cut from the same cloth as the old one. At least the old boss would have published the change, albeit disguised as something he might call “progressive” or possibly even “visionary”. The new guy just tries to slide it by without a word to avoid a challenge. His spine appears to be made of less sturdy stuff.

    I don’t for a minute think that this move was made in error or as an oversight. I believe he knew that it was against the rules the current “freeze” imposed, but that he did it anyway, knowing that it would take time for the PSLRB to investigate and make a ruling against the new policy and that by that time it would get his neck out of the noose involving our current resourcing issues. While the forest fires in BC rage on and the large scale resource deployment in Labrador continues and no one had the foresight to make plans in time to put temporary wide-spread leave restrictions in place his little plan carries on unchecked.

    I believe our current values still include integrity, but I think it’s abundantly clear that we shouldn’t expect that from the top down. It is another example of the underhanded and cowardly behaviour that we have come to expect from our most senior levels of management.

    James Robilliard

  7. Ladies and Gentlemen:

    It has been some time since I have felt the need to post comments on the site. After digesting your last communication with respect to further delays ( with no concrete time frame for response by the FPSLREB) I feel the need to comment now. The process of certifying a bargaining agent is being subverted by special interests within the AMPMQ. I read all the “legalese” from all three parties that were put forth and it basically comes down to whose case law gets more consideration as to its relevance to our situation from a legal perspective. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t case law by its nature about how reasonable, responsible and informed people would apply the laws as written?

    To that end, it seems that there are three things that the Board needs to determine according to the AMPMQ’s own submission: 1) the merits of the case- that there is a serious question to be decided on, 2) whether an applicant would suffer an irreparable prejudice if the application were refused and 3) which of the parties would suffer greater prejudice from the granting or refusal (stay of proceedings).

    By its wording, I would conclude that all three conditions stipulated above must be met in order hold up proceedings since the word “and” and not “or” is used in the SCC decision they used above to make their arguments. I think that most reasonable and prudent people would agree that the question of “constitutionality” is a serious question for consideration by the Board. Whether or not it is considered “late” or not at this stage of the process depends on whether you side with one party’s case law arguments vs the other. But let’s, just for expediency, concede to the AMPMQ on this point. It is with the other two points that I take issue.

    I was somewhat encouraged by the DOJ’s opinion that the process should not be stayed while the “constitutionality” of Article 238.14 is considered. Not knowing the make-up of the Board however, makes me nervous about whether or not they will agree with the Attorney General’s opinion and push the process forward while the AMPMQ pursues higher judicial remedy.

    I have serious doubt (perhaps Mr. Suave, as a C-Division member could weigh in on this himself) that the AMPMQ actually represents the wishes/opinions of the majority or even a significant minority of C-Division members in their current stance; The notion that they would rather continue down the current road with

  8. no representation indefinitely, while the argument exhausts itself, rather than adopt an organization that represents all of us equally, seems irrational. Is there a sufficient number of C-Division members that belong to the AMPMQ within C-Division to support this position? Of the 850 or so members in C-Division, how many are represented by the AMPMQ? The notion that a small percentage of people would want to hold the entire process hostage is reprehensible and smacks to me of desperation on the part of a few individuals struggling to remain relevant or influential.

    Buried deep within the AMPMQ’s submisssion to the Board is the argument that C-Division members are an “identifiable” group and as such, should receive as much consideration as the entire RCMP member group for the purposes of selecting a bargaining agent. I agree with this statement to the same extent that I would with saying that “Lower Mainland” members could also make that argument or “female members” or “brown-eyed, bald members over the age of 40” could be an identifiable group. Where do we drawn the line? The AMPMQ contends that they need their own C-Division group due to their “geographical, functional, administrative and linguistic characteristics. All of these distinctions are pure rubbish.

    As for the “linguistic” argument, it holds no water whatsoever when they do not seek to represent all Francophone members – just those within the boundaries of Quebec. As for the geographic argument, it holds no water when considered objectively. The geography of the region is as diverse as it is anywhere in the country. Do the folks in sub-arctic regions of Quebec feel more akin to those living in the suburbs of Montreal than they do to those people living at the same latitudes as themselves in nearby Nunavut? I think not.

    Let’s briefly consider the “functional” and “administrative” distinctions put forth by the legal team of the AMPMQ. I am unsure just what they believe to be unique or “indentifiable” in their division with respect to administration and function, given that the Force Policy with respect to administration is set nationally and not within the division itself and function would not be remarkably different than it would be in any federal enforcement function elsewhere in the country. So much for the “identifiable group” argument.

    I am not seeking to be inflammatory here. During the course of my duties, I have had as much exposure to the rank and file members of C-Division as I have had to members of other divisions. I find that, as with any other body of members, they seem reasonable and accommodating. Their concerns with regard to pay, benefits, training and resources don’t seem to differ from others I have had contact with. This begs two questions for me: What is this really about? Who is driving this?

    I suspect that this whole situation is the work of a small group of misguided individuals desperately searching for a way to remain important and influential despite the divisive atmosphere they are creating in a process that should be unifying and liberating for members. I suspect that the AMPMQ assertions buried deep in the “legalese” of their legal team’s submissions would not pass the “sniff” test within C-Division any more than it would elsewhere.

    Is that what this is going to come down to; the definition of what constitutes an “identifiable group”? I sincerely hope that this does not stall the process to any extent. I think what may work in favour of all RCMP members, not just members of the NPF or AMPMQ or any other “identifiable” group, is the need to ensure we get the representation process completed as quickly as we can. Once that is in place, we can address key issues that are currently plaguing the membership; the sorts of things that have directly resulted in member deaths in the recent past, adequate resourcing, training and equipment. As with all comparisons of groups of people, upon close examination of our “characteristics”, we will discover that we have many more commonalities than we have differences.


    J. Robilliard

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