Thousands of Mounties are about to receive a massive pay increase.
For the first time ever, a union representing RCMP members has ratified a collective agreement with the federal government to cover nearly 20,000 members.
A tentative agreement with Treasury Board was announced earlier this summer. Following a ratification vote, it was signed digitally (due to pandemic restrictions) earlier this month, says the National Police Federation, the Mounties' union.
Before the new collective agreement, a constable could make up to $86,110, while a staff sergeant made between $109,000 and just over $112,000.
According to the RCMP, as of April 1, 2022 a constable will make up to $106,576 — a jump of $20,000. A staff sergeant will make between $134,912 and $138,657 next year. Constables account for more than half of the RCMP's ranks.
The deal also includes retroactive increases going back to 2017— the last time the RCMP updated its wages was 2016. According to the agreement, the rates of pay will change within 90 days of the signing of the collective agreement.
The pay boost will cause the public safety budget to balloon for the next federal government.
The deal covers all RCMP members from constables to staff sergeant majors, including special constables. According to the latest numbers published online, the RCMP employs 11,913 constables and 3,599 corporals — which means the raise could cost the federal government hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
The salary increase comes as the RCMP struggles to recruit new members amid an international reckoning over police budgets, driven by in-custody deaths in the United States and investigations of Canadian police services' use-of-force policies.
RCMP members have been fighting for years to get to this stage. Until 2015, RCMP officers had been barred from forming a union since the 1960s, when other federal public servants gained the right to collective bargaining. It was one of the only police forces in Canada with that restriction.