Prospect of Arbitration Leaves Sour Taste in the Mouths of Canadian Police Officers
Thursday, November, 5, 2015
Edmonton City cops are upset after their attempt to avoid arbitration has failed and their contract negotiations will not be determined by a third party. A city representative cites a need to look out for the well-being of the taxpayers as the stumbling block in negotiations.
The head of the Edmonton Police Association, speaking to the public, stated after Calgary police used arbitration and reached a deal, Edmonton should be able to do the same, but felt there was, unfortunately, no sense of urgency over the matter.
The Edmonton police contract expired in December 2013 and there has been no contract in place since then. The police are requesting a 2.7% raise for 2014, a 275% raise for 2015, and a 3% raise for 2016. Calgary officers received similar terms in their contracts, but the city of Edmonton is offering only 2% for 2014, 2.25% for 2015, and 2.5% for 2016.
The head of the Police Association believes arbitration is a waste of money and time, pointing out that, union members will be paying $100,000 just to get the same results as Calgary officers.
City Council members point out they are not trying to squeeze the officers, but they do intend to look out for taxpayers and ensure they get a fair deal in negotiations. They are hoping the arbitrator’s decision will come before the 2016 budget, but are prepared if this is not the case and it takes longer.