Class Action Lawsuits involving the RCMP

2020-11-18

The following are brief descriptions and links of to three (3) Class Actions that involve the RCMP.  Should you require more information you may contact the individual law firms whose contact information can be found on their webpages per the links below as CUPE Local 104 is not a party to these lawsuits.

 

1) RCMP Sexual or gender based harassment or discrimination while employed in the RCMP

The Merlo Davidson class action sought financial compensation for female, current and former, living Regular Members, Civilian Members and Public Service Employees who worked within the RCMP from September 16, 1974 to May 30, 2017, and who experienced gender and/or sexual orientation based harassment and discrimination while working in the RCMP, and who have not opted out or are not deemed to have opted out of the Class Action.

** note this Class Action has already been heard and decided on. Individual claims are being submitted at this time. If this affects you, you may want to contact the law firm immediately, especially if you might need to put a claim in.

(https://merlodavidson.ca/en/rcmp-settlement/the-agreement/)

 

2) RCMP General Harassment Class Action

RCMP Members: including all Regular Members, Civilian Members, Special Constable, Special Constable Members, Supernumerary Special Constables, Reservists, and Recruits;

(http://www.complexlaw.ca/?fbclid=IwAR1Crrbrckv7IFu0MIG4txgGJPib0MHLwigSGeQL9Q69IHFZAVRPZQKj4Rk#FL-RCMP_General_Harrassment)

 

3) RCMP Operational Stress Injuries

The proposed class proceeding was filed on behalf of four Plaintiffs and seeks damages on behalf of themselves and a class of persons who are or have been enrolled as Officers and/or Members in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and who have been diagnosed with, or suffered from, an Operational Stress Injury.

(https://wagners.co/practice-areas/class-actions/rcmp-operational-stress-injuries/?%20fbclid=IwAR3QbJnqULoOWOWZbci5M1rVSy5RIA_MhhJQiClVsHXjNZF03YMLMoX6h-c)

Notice of Election – Trustees

2020-11-16

This is the Notice of an Election for the positions of Trustees (x3) on the Local 104 Executive Board, in accordance with our bylaws.

Key Dates:

  • Nominations: Nov 18-25
  • Voting: Dec 2-8
  • Results: Dec 17

Nomination forms are available online at https://104.cupe.ca/files/2020/11/Nomination-Package-Trustee.pdf. They must be scanned and e-mailed to elections@cupe104.ca before the nomination period closes on 2020-11-25.

Campaigning may take place at any time and is the sole responsibility of the nominee(s). Shortly after the close of the nomination period, and at the request of the nominee(s), the Elections Committee will send one email to the membership including: nominees’ names, work locations, and one URL link, provided by the nominee, pointing to a website of their choosing.

Voting will be by electronic ballot sent to the email we have on file from your membership form. This email will come from Simply Voting; remember to check your junk / spam folders. Voting will start on 2020-12-02 and remain open for seven (7) days. Results will be communicated on or before 2020-12-17

Please ensure you read the nomination guide attached to the nomination form carefully as it contains important information. You will receive confirmation from the Elections Committee that your nomination form was received within 24 hours of sending it in. The Elections Committee is Vice President April Hallock, Eastern Region IM Chair Marc-Étienne Proteau, Central Region TO Chairperson Myles Kirchner. You can contact your Steward, Regional Chairperson, or the Elections Committee with any questions.

In Solidarity,

CUPE Local 104 Elections Committee

Supreme Court of Canada Decision on Job-Sharing

2020-11-15

On October 16th, 2020, a landmark decision was rendered by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) regarding members working in job-sharing situations and their ability to pay into their pension (Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General), 2020 SCC 28). Members who reduce their hours through job-sharing arrangements were previously denied the ability to buy back their lost pension time. However, members who work regular hours and take leave without pay (LWOP) can buy back their pension time to make up for the LWOP time. This decision allows members who reduced their hours through job-sharing the ability to buy back the lost time into their pensions.

In their decision, the SCC noted that job-sharing arrangements were shown to be most predominant among women with young children. Therefore, the SCC ruled that the inability for members to buy back pension time while in a job-sharing role was a clear violation of s. 15(1) of the Charter because of the disproportionate impact on women.

Immediately following the decision, we wrote to the RCMP CHRO, RCMP Director of Pensions Services, and the Acting Director General of National Compensation Services requesting information on how this decision will be implemented. We are awaiting their direction. We look forward to this injustice being corrected and how exactly this will impact employees job-sharing situations as well as those that have had to change to part-time work to assist with family obligations.

The full SCC decision of Fraser v. Canada (Attorney General, 2020 Scc 28 (CanLII) can be  viewed here:  https://www.canlii.org/en/ca/scc/doc/2020/2020scc28/2020scc28.html

 

COVID-19 Update #5

2020-11-15

We recently posted an Update on Access to 699 Leave Leave: (https://104.cupe.ca/2020/11/04/update-on-access-to-699-leave/).  Despite all the Unions, the employer has proceeded to change their direction for accessing other leave with pay (699). In some cases, the employer is requiring employees to exhaust other forms of paid leave before allowing access to the other leave with pay (699) provisions for COVID-19 related matters.

The employer previously attempted to make changes to the special leave with pay provisions prior to the start of the school year without consultation with any of the Unions. The Unions collectively fought back hard against this non-negotiated and potentially discriminatory change. This leave remains an important benefit and is part of our terms and conditions of employment that are frozen. We are continuing to fight this most recent change alongside the other federal public sector Unions.

As this virus continues to spread and as we are seeing positive cases in our workplaces, schools, homes, families, and friends, it is vital that everyone continues to follow the guidance and advice from federal / provincial / territorial / municipal health authorities. Most areas are well into the second wave of this pandemic and we must all continue to do our part to stay healthy and able to provide uninterrupted service to Canadians. Your continued commitment and dedication to serving Canadians is exemplary and although it may seem like it is “just what we do,” it is important to recognize this.

If you are experiencing any issues with the application of leave provisions relating to the pandemic, please continue to contact your Regional Chairperson for assistance and guidance. This includes being denied other leave with pay (699) for COVID-19 related matters due to the change in direction from the employer noted above. Also, if you hear of any unreasonable requests or directives coming from management, please let us know right away. The sooner we know about any issues or potential issues, the sooner we can help rectify them.

Keep up the great work and stay safe and healthy.

Update on Access To 699 Leave

2020-11-03

Last week, the Treasury Boards Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer (OCHRO) issued updated guidance to departments on the use of paid leave under the 699 leave code that contained ambiguous language about employees needing to exhaust other relevant forms of paid leave first. This is to take effect on Nov 9th, 2020. OCHRO further released clarifying documents that make it clear that the employer has chosen to violate the terms of our members’ collective agreements and human rights in the name of political expedience.

What’s changed

As of now, departments are being instructed to not consider requests for leave under clause 55.01 of the PO Collective Agreement (similar clauses exist in all other Public Service collectives), which provides for “leave with pay when circumstances not directly attributable to the employee prevent the employee’s reporting for duty,” until all other forms of paid leave have been exhausted, including annual leave.

The RCMP has not shared their interpretation of these changes so it is not clear how this will affect the CM Category.

Why does this matter?

This guidance has the effect of unilaterally adding conditions and restrictions that are not part of the PO collective agreement, which is an unambiguous breach of the agreement and our freedom of association under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Moreover, the employer’s own gender-based-plus analysis of these changes shows the impact will disproportionately affect women and members of traditionally marginalized groups. These actions are discriminatory and a gross violation of your rights, not to mention an affront to the working relationship we’ve tried hard to maintain during this unprecedented time.

Furthermore, these changes create instability and uncertainty at a time when the second wave of the pandemic is hitting across the country. This compromises the mental health of the entire group and sets up unnecessary obstacles to those who want to respect public health directives for the good of all Canadians.

What comes next?

We have made it clear to the employer that this is not the time to gut a system that is working well to assist members in managing the pandemic. Instead they have decided to make changes that constitute a violation of your collective agreement, human rights and Charter rights. It is not the employer’s responsibility – nor that of the managers they’re delegating these decisions to – to choose which rights to uphold and which to reject in the name of politics.

Our union president has joined several other federal public service union presidents (total of 17) and sent a joint letter to the Treasury Board Minister yesterday expressing our concerns (ie: health, labour relations and human rights) asking him to direct his staff to backtrack on this new direction.

If you are refused access to leave code 699, contact your steward or regional chairperson and we will assist you and, if appropriate, immediately begin the process of filing a grievance on your behalf. In the meantime, we will also be filing a policy grievance on behalf of the group. Analysis has already begun on further formal action including complaint(s) to the Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board, under human rights legislation and regarding the violation of your Charter rights.

All members are encouraged to schedule all personal and annual leave credited this year, if at all possible, to avoid the employer scheduling your annual leave or denying access to 699 leave on the basis that you have unscheduled annual leave.

2.3% Market Adjustment

2020-10-28

In September, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB) finally moved forward on this file regarding the disclosure issue that was previously raised. We are still seeking copies of relevant records from the employer. Some records were partially provided previously, and most were heavily redacted. Treasury Board responded by asking for an extension on the disclosure deadline to October 15th. We have still not received a response. On October 15th, our lawyer sent a formal response about this to Treasury Board and the FPSLREB which also reaffirmed our position to move ahead with a virtual hearing as soon as possible.

We continue to be active on this case. We will keep pushing for this disclosure and for a hearing as soon as possible. We are ready and it is far from over. We are not done with this by any stretch of the imagination.

Our first hearing at the FPSLREB, occurred back in December 2019. At that hearing, instead of dealing with the complaint at hand, the employer put up roadblocks relating to disclosure and the hearing was adjourned until June 2020. The hearing scheduled for June was postponed due to COVID-19.

The Public Service Police Operations Support group (PO – TCO and IMA subgroups) is pay matched to the Civilian Member Law Enforcement Support group (LES – IM and TO subgroups). These groups are pay matched to the Regular Member (RM) pay and have been decades. This may change during the collective bargaining process; however, our position is that it has not changed yet and no changes to this pay structure has ever been communicated to us.

In 2016, RMs were given a 2.3% market adjustment pay increase and we were denied this same pay increase. Around the same time, we applied for union certification and the RCMP has been trying to re-write history after the fact. We will not let this go. By all accounts, we should have been provided this same pay increase in 2016 and we will keep fighting to make sure that we get it.

Bargaining Update

2020-10-26

The work on negotiating our first Collective Agreement is continuing – full steam ahead! This is, by far, the single most important task we are working on for the benefit of all our members.

As we noted previously, there were delays caused by Treasury Board’s assigned negotiator retiring. They have now assigned a new negotiator to work with us. We are familiar with her as she was the same person we worked with when we were bargaining our first Memorandum of Agreement that allows us to conduct union business and represent our members in the workplace.

The new negotiator has been updating herself on our file and she seems eager to get going. We are currently in talks about scheduling the bargaining processes as well as outlining the terms for virtual bargaining. We are hopeful that the formal bargaining process will kick off in the next couple of months.

In the meantime, the Bargaining Committee continues to meet virtually as we refine our research and initial proposals. We must have a collective agreement that will blend the CMs, PSs, IMs, and TOs and ensure that the disparity created by the employer is corrected while considering the unique needs of each group.

Keep in mind that that bargaining in good faith involves a great deal of confidentiality. We cannot share specific points in the proposed agreement until it comes time for a ratification vote. We must also not publicly share priority items or negotiating strategies because then the employer would know what is most important to us. However, we will keep everyone updated with the major milestones of the collective bargaining process.

If you have questions about the collective bargaining process or where we are at in that process, please contact your local steward.

RCMP Gender and Sexual Orientation Based Harassment and Discrimination Class Action

NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT APPROVAL

RCMP Gender and Sexual Orientation Based Harassment and Discrimination Class Action

Did you experience gender or sexual orientation-based harassment or discrimination while working or volunteering with the RCMP?

You may be eligible for compensation.

If you are a female or identified as a female and work or volunteer with the RCMP, or did so in the past, you may be eligible for compensation.

On March 10, 2020, the Federal Court approved a settlement of the class action Tiller v. Her Majesty the Queen. The class action concerns allegations of gender and sexual orientation-based harassment and discrimination within the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (“RCMP”).

Read More

General Membership Meeting

General Membership meeting

Good day CUPE 104,

This is your official notification as required by the bylaws that we will be holding a General Membership meeting.

Dates:

Wednesday July 15, 2020 – 1800 – 2000 Eastern
Friday July 17, 2020 – 1200 – 1400 Eastern

 

Due to the pandemic, these meetings will be held online using Zoom exclusively.  Please ensure you are set up for the app prior to attending.

Zoom information, union reports and amendment proposals will be disseminated to the membership on Monday July 13 at 1800 Eastern.

As per the bylaws, the order of business shall be:

  • Roll call of officers
  • Reading of the Equality Statement
  • Voting on new members and initiation
    Membership list to be voted upon
  • Reading of the minutes
    Submitted in writing ahead of time
  • Matters arising from the minutes
  • Secretary-Treasurer’s Report
    Budget to be presented for approval 
  • Communications and bills
    Submitted in writing ahead of time
  • Executive Board Report
    Submitted in writing ahead of time
  • Reports of committees and delegates
    Submitted in writing ahead of time
    Amendments to bylaws to be presented for approval (Current bylaws)
  • Nominations, elections, or installations
  • Unfinished business
  • New business
  • Good of the Union
  • Adjournment

Your questions relating to these topics may be submitted prior to these meetings to secretary@cupe104.ca.

To ensure you receive these notices, please complete the membership form.

In Solidarity,
Your CUPE 104 Executive

President’s Message

Dear CUPE 104 members,

When this year started it was the first year of a new decade and it was met with such optimism and referred to in jovial ways… references to 20/20 vision, the year of hindsight, etc. Wow, did it ever take a turn! Like a plot twist right out of a bad movie! Much of it surreal and unimaginable just a year ago. It even seems like an eternity since we dealt with fighting deeming that would have seen CMs forced onto Phoenix and further burdening it for our PSs! Since then, a deadly pandemic has come to our doorstep. Our economy has hit unbelievable lows. Canada’s largest massacre in recent history happened. To further this, a horrific death caused by a police officer, in the US, that was captured on video sparked outrage, protest, and mistrust in the police which has been felt in Canada and in the RCMP. Your professionalism and dedication never wavered throughout.

Please hang in there, talk to your mates, your friends, your family and or the multiple resources the force has and remember that your stewards and executive are just a call or email away. I want to point out that we keep hearing the same mantra when it comes to seeking help. That there are all these resources and they are great resources, but we keep hearing “reach out if you need help” which can be a problem. I can speak from my personal experience when I say that when you are in crisis you often don’t know how bad things are until it gets really bad. One often doesn’t know that they need help until things reach a tipping point. Take cues from your loved ones and colleagues and how you relate to them. If people seem like they are tip-toeing around you, if you feel like you have a shorter fuse, can’t get certain things off of your mind, that your mind is racing, that you can’t sleep and that you are withdrawing from things you used to like doing, then it IS a very good time to reach out because you likely need help. Please don’t ignore such cues.

Please continue to check in on your mates regularly. ESPECIALLY check in on them if they are off duty sick. Don’t assume they don’t want to be bothered. It’s likely that they don’t have it in them to reach out and maybe yes, they may not want to be bothered much. Being off duty sick can be an extremely confusing and lonely time. It’s not a matter of talking to them about critical events. Just get in touch somehow to say you care. Maybe send a caring message, do a video chat, have a coffee, a walk, a driveway or patio visit.

I was struck by something a very special “H” Div OCC operator who has been through a lot lately said this week that I wanted to share as it might be helpful. With so much going on she made the conscient decision to drastically shift her focus to why she originally started working for the Force and the OCC and that was “to help people”… “Gonna shift my focus back to that, and away from everything that has been happening and go to work with the determination to remember why I’m there, why I originally started working there… whose day can I make a little better, even if it’s the worst day they’ve faced so far”.

Let’s take care of ourselves and continue to look out for each other during these trying times. WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS TOGETHER! Summer is here. Let’s try and enjoy some great weather, our friends and family, and make some great memories for 2020.

Sincerely,

Kathleen Hippern – CUPE 104 President