B.C. municipalities are on the hook for millions in RCMP pay increases but officials in Penticton say they’re not worried about covering its share of the freight.
The federal government won’t pick up the tab on a 1.75 per cent yearly pay increase it agreed to with RCMP members during collective bargaining negotiations in August 2021.
Penticton’s bill for the increased salaries will be about $1.75 million to cover the retroactive yearly raises.
“The city has been putting aside funds for that retroactive pay for many years and are in a position to pay the balance when it comes due,” said Angela Campbell, Penticton’s director of finance and administration.
The deal signed by the RCMP’s 20,000 members came into effect on April 1, 2022, and includes a 1.75 per cent pay raise each year, dating back to 2017. It expires after 2023.
According to the RCMP’s official pay grid, a constable in 2023 could now earn a salary of up to $108,000.
A sergeant’s salary is pushing the $130,000 mark, thanks to the 1.75 per cent pay increase.
Those numbers are up from yearly paydays of $86,000 and $102,000 in 2016, respectively, for the same positions.
The RCMP does not list updated salaries for superintendents.
The Union of BC Municipalities recently requested the federal government to cover all retroactive costs associated with the agreement.
“Reasons for this request include but are not limited to the federal government’s failure to consider local government ability to pay; and the lack of adequate communication and consultation with local governments throughout this process,” the union writes.
The group adds on its website that cost impacts to each municipality are based on detachment size and rank structures.
A 9.5 per cent tax hike for this year was officially adopted by Penticton council on Monday, April 3, with the addition of two new RCMP officers included in the financial policy.