Sydney (09 Dec. 2013) – Cape Breton Regional Police Officers (CBRPS), members of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) are looking for the same treatment and consideration as their colleagues in other police forces who work in Nova Scotia and other jurisdictions across the country.
Police officers in Cape Breton want equal treatment as those working across the province
“Due to the nature of the work and the danger associated with police work, officers are often put in situations where they are at an increased risk of allegations,” said Joan Jessome, President of the Nova Scotia Government & General Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE). “The officers have been asking for years for their pay to be continued until a decision is made by the Police Review Board or through the court process.”
The continuance of pay for police is a general practice right across the county.
Currently, the practice by the CBRPS is to continue pay for a 60 day period at which time, it is the sole decision of the Chief of Police to continue or discontinue pay. General practice has been to discontinue pay after 60 days.
“This is an issue of principle for our members who are out there every day protecting the public,” says Jessome. “They should have the same conditions of work as other police officers. It’s only fair.”
NSGEU/NUPGE has been offering solutions to the situation but the employer won't consider them
The union has provided several viable solutions to this issue since last Friday, Nov. 30 including an offer from the Department of Labour & Advanced Education (Conciliation Services), who have offered to assist both sides in reaching an acceptable resolution.
“We had lined up a neutral third party to help us find a resolve, but the employer has not agreed with that solution, says Jessome. “We would like to sit down and work out a solution.”
The employer has repeatedly asserted that the collective bargaining process is where this should be discussed. Unfortunately, the decision to suspend pay is not covered by the terms of the collective agreement, but is mandated by the Police Act.
Police officers in Nova Scotia do not have the right to strike, so when significant issues such as this arise it makes perfect sense to involve a neutral third party. It's unacceptable for the employer to suggest that it's a collective bargaining matter and simply expect the union to defer the concerns until the commencement of that process.
The NSGEU/NUPGE remains committed to working with the employer to remedy this matter and is prepared to return to meaningful dialogue with the Cape Breton Regional Police Service. The union urges the employer to work with us in finding a viable solution.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE