May 1st, 2018
Several events have taken place behind the scenes on the road to unionization. Since November 2015, the AMPMQ (Association des membres de la police montée du Québec) team has worked tirelessly to ensure the RCMP members are in the best possible position to establish their future labour union. We wish to be a single interdependent entity and our ambition has never been to operate as lone rangers. Following the creation of the NPF in March 2016, we have tried for months to convince the MPPAC (Mounted Professional Police Association of Canada) and the NPF (National Police Federation) to unite. In the face of their lack of action, we filed our own application for accreditation.
For more than a year now, we have been stressing that there is a quick and straightforward way to put an end to our application for accreditation and/or constitutional challenge, which is to provide fair and reasonable representation to the members of the C Division and, in turn, to the Francophone members of the RCMP.
Repeatedly, the NPF has blamed the AMPMQ for delaying the accreditation. Like you, we are fed up with the delays! If the NPF had put as much energy in discussions as they did to try to push us aside and make us the scapegoat for the delays, we would have been able to get along a while back. The truth is that none of our claims were considered and accepted by the NPF executive, which could have led to an agreement that would undoubtedly have accelerated the process.
The NPF has offered Quebec members a director position on the Board of Directors. At a minimum, we hope that each division will be represented on the Board of Directors.
Our claims are realistic, are anything but frivolous and concern not only Quebec:
- A VP position on the Executive Steering Committee for the C Division, with an executive consisting of seven members. This representation is even lower than the percentage of Francophones in the RCMP, which is nearly 1 in 5 members. We are uniquely positioned to present issues related to language: we have done so in the past and intend to do so again in the future;
- A divisional budget to extend the autonomy of each division, unlike the NPF plan that implies that all budgets are controlled in Ottawa;
- A non-partisan election committee to prepare for a first and swift democratic election, which would look nothing like the proxy system used in the elections for the Legal Fund Board (https://mplegalfund.com);
- And, ultimately, a representative bargaining committee, alternatively if necessary, to produce the best benefits for all: the contract police, the federal police, the Francophones, the minorities or even the remote areas.
We have been waiting for the NPF’s reply on our last offer made over the course of the mediation since October 31, 2017. So far, the members of the AMPMQ’s executive have received no verbal or written communication from the NPF by regarding our offer.
Our request for verification of the constitutional validity is only a consequence of the NPF’s unwillingness to discuss and come to an understanding. The NPF prefers to stir up anger and create division rather than work at uniting the two groups. This is not the kind of leadership we need to carry out the unionization project. Trade unionism is an art of compromise. Our position has evolved since the fall of 2015. In April 2017, during the initial conversation with Brian Sauvé following their application for accreditation, he had mentioned that the objective was to bring members of all allegiances (AMPMQ, MPPAC and savemyrcmp.ca) together, to unite them and achieve the solidarity required for this historic first. You’ll be the judge of the efforts made to attain this vital outcome. The time may have come to speak with another NPF co-president?
It is not too late to negotiate. Until a vote is held, the AMPMQ does not create any delay. What is the real aim of the NPF’s efforts? How will the NPF be structured? What will be the members’ representation? How will the elections be held? Have you asked yourself these questions?
After 40 long years, we have the right to build our union on SOLID grounds, we deserve nothing less!