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MP Atamanenko supports Charter rights for RCMP

MP Alex Atamanenko has taken up the cause of various professional police associations across the country in their efforts to obtain an effective labour relations system for the RCMP, based on the principle of collective bargaining. Currently, the RCMP is the only police agency in Canada that does not have the right to collectively bargain with their employer and on their behalf Atamanenko has written to the Minister responsible for the Treasury Board, Honourable Stockwell Day.

“For the government to continue to stonewall in response to the efforts of many of the women and men of the RCMP is completely unreasonable.” Atamanenko declared. “The existing system of the Staff Relations Representative (SSR) Program does not meet charter requirements and the government has already been given 18 months to address this issue.”

The courts have stated that the SSR is not constitutional in a number of ways. It was imposed upon them by management, it does not meet the definition of collective bargaining, there is no binding dispute mechanism and the employer always has the final word. Justice MacDonell of the Superior Court of Ontario has given the government 18 months to produce legislation that does not offend the charter. This period expires October 6th.

In a letter dated May 1, 2009, to the previous Minister responsible for the Treasury Board, Honourable Vic Toews, Atamanenko then called upon the government to act to create legislation that would allow the RCMP to have full collective bargaining rights. He continues to support their efforts.

“We’re beyond the eleventh hour and the 18-month timeline is at hand,” Atamanenko wrote. “On behalf of the men and women who serve our country as RCMP office, I urge the government to comply with the decision of Justice MacDonell and grant them the rights to which every Canadian is entitled under the law.”

This article is a press release from Mr. Atamanenko's office. The letter to Stockwell Day is attached to this article.