It appears that Canada’s Mounties are one step closer to unionizing.
That’s according to Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum, who announced the news on Tuesday night at a business meeting in South Surrey.
But RCMP Sgt. Marie Damian with Ottawa’s headquarters told Black Press Media that the deal isn’t done, yet.
“We’re waiting to see which group will represent us,” she said on Wednesday.
“Definitely we will get unionized, and that’s because of Bill C-7. Bill C-7 gives us the right to have a union.”
The bill received Royal Assent in 2017.
McCallum told the national news to an audience of roughly 70 people at the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce.
Cpl. 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.”
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.
“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.”
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.