Suspended negotiations – Pressure tactics in the coming days throughout the province
Faced with the suspension last Saturday of negotiations surrounding the renewal of the employment contract for Sûreté du Québec police officers, which expired in March 2022, the Association of Provincial Police Officers of Quebec (APPQ) has no choice but to plan for pressure tactics, something she hadn’t had to do for more than 15 years. The APPQ deplores the attitude of the government, which does not seem to consider adequately and at its fair value the status of the national police.
Services to the population may be affected over the next few days for a period of 24 hours. The police will be asked to refuse the overtime. It should be noted that negotiations began on October 14, 2021 with the objective of a negotiated settlement before the expiry of the employment contract on March 31, 2022. Since the arrival of the Secretariat of the Treasury Board (SCT) at the bargaining table last May, things are moving too slowly, going so far as to cause the suspension of negotiations last Saturday because the differences between the parties are so great. “The needs for police personnel are glaring and cause many hours of compulsory overtime (TSO). The troops are exhausted. Moreover, we have been informed that several units across the province have experienced a break in service this summer. A survey to assess the extent of the phenomenon is underway with our members,” explains Dominic Ricard, President of the APPQ.
The Association has brought to the table solutions to the difficulties of attracting and retaining staff. In addition, the deficient training and the subject of the psychological health of Sûreté du Québec police officers were also on the agenda. The Association wants to work on possible solutions to these important issues, but cannot implement them quickly if the SCT continues to drag out monetary negotiations by maintaining a significant gap between the parties. “It is the lack of will on the part of the government to recognize the Sûreté du Québec as a national police force, disregarding its auxiliary role with other police organizations, which is unacceptable. The members are obliged to make up for the lack of manpower of the various police forces which claim assistance under the Law on the Police. It is not normal that with all these responsibilities, the members of the Sûreté du Québec are among the lowest paid police officers in Quebec! », explains the president of the APPQ, Dominic Ricard.
The creation of several new squads and requests for assistance from municipalities, including Montreal, have an impact on members of the Sûreté du Québec. This situation means that the troops on the ground throughout Quebec are greatly in deficit and this has caused mandatory overtime (TSO) for several months. The APPQ also asks its members to no longer use vehicles with more than 220,000 km on the odometer except for an emergency situation in which the health or safety of a person or a colleague would be in danger.
On the sidelines of the concerns expressed, the APPQ dares to hope that the question of public security in Quebec can be invited to the next leaders’ debates during the current election period.
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Negotiation of the employment contract for Quebec provincial police officers
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