Photo: Amy Reid Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum poses with an example of a Surrey Police cruiser after his State of the City Address at Civic Hotel on May 7.

Surrey mayor says the RCMP has announced it will unionize

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum announced Tuesday night at a business meeting in South Surrey that the RCMP has announced it is unionizing.

“It’s not a done deal yet,” Sergeant Marie Damian, from RCMP national headquarters in Ottawa, told the Now-Leader on Wednesday. “We’re waiting to see which group will represent us.

“Definitely we will get unionized, and that’s because of Bill C-7. Bill C-7 gives us the right to have a union,” she said.

The bill received Royal Assent in 2017.

“We won the right, by the Bill C-7,” Damian said. “I don’t know when, but we will get unionized.”

McCallum told his audience of roughly 70 people at the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce that “the RCMP have now been, it’s been announced that they’re unionizing, in Canada.”

Corporal Chris Manseau, the media relations officer for the RCMP’s “E” division, said Wednesday morning that this came as news to him.

“So Doug McCallum has said that we are unionizing? I can tell you that 25,000 members would probably be happy to hear that, however, as a member I haven’t seen anything, I haven’t heard anything and I am unaware,” Manseau said.

“I’m not sure where he would have got that from.”

READ ALSO: Surrey councillor calls proposed policing transition plan ‘shocking’

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READ ALSO: McCallum says Surrey Police officers will be patrolling streets by July 2020

McCallum told his audience that the city, if its plan to set up its own police force to replace the RCMP – which has policed these parts since May 1, 1951 – is approved by the provincial government, that “we will be able to move our own police force over at the same price as we’re paying now for the RCMP, no increase because the RCMP officers will be paid exactly the same as Vancouver city once the union gets in and gets established.”

A new Surrey police force would also be unionized, McCallum said Tuesday.

“What I’m saying is salaries with the RCMP, which will be unionized within, will be the same as the Vancouver Police force is. Our police will also be unionized and will be paid the same, so what we’re saying to you is we’re moving from RCMP over to our own city police, and they will be paid the same prices.”

Corporal Elenore Sturko, of the Surrey RCMP, said on the unionization issue that ”no announcements or any new information has gone to members, as far as I know.”

She noted legal processes have been happening for several years now.

“At least the membership, those of us working within the RCMP, would have received some type of notification. There’s lot’s of legal processes and stuff going on but at this time there’s no union representing the RCMP currently.”

As of 2016, an RCMP constable’s annual pay ranges from between $53,144 and $86,110.

For a corporal, the range is $90,842 to $94,292; for a sergeant, $99,790 to $102,775.

For a staff sergeant, it’s $109,002 to $112,028. An inspector’s annual salary ranges from $123,100 to $132,194 and a superintendent makes between $139,470 and $146,735.

In comparison, a Vancouver Police constable’s annual salary ranges from $70,154 to $100,220.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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