Niagara Police and their union secure a six-year deal after contract negotiations

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Published November 25, 2021 at 12:10 pm

The Niagara Police and their rank-and-file union just inked a new six-year contract after being without one since January 1, 2021.

After 10 days of bargaining, the contract was ratified by both the Niagara Police Services Board and the Niagara Region Police Association union today (November 25).

Bill Steele, Chair of the Police Services Board, and Pat McGilly, President of the Niagara Region Police Association both admitted there was give-and-take by both bodies before they finally reached a mutual agreement.

The new contract runs from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2026 and covers the 764 Uniform Members and 303 Civilian Members of the Niagara Police.

In the end, the agreement was reached without the intervention of a third-party mediator or arbitrator.

Highlights of the settlement are set out below:

  • The yearly increase is 2.0 percent per annum over the duration of the contract:

2021     – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2021 and 1.0% July 1, 2021)

2022     – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2022 and 1.0% July 1, 2022)

2023     – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2023 and 1.0% July 1, 2023)

2024     – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2024 and 1.0% July 1, 2024)

2025*   – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2025 and 1.0% July 1, 2025)

2026*   – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2026 and 1.0% July 1, 2026)

*An upward adjustment may be made in 2025 and 2026 to maintain Niagara’s First Class Constable annual wage historical ranking of 6th place amongst the Province’s Big 12 Police Services.

  • Staged incremental increases of 1.5% in 2023 and 3.0% in 2024 on base pay for front-line patrol officers to ensure our officers are treated fairly with police comparators across the province.
  • Adjustments to member benefits that support and enhance member wellness.
  • The Board, Management and Association have agreed to work together on important issues regarding wellness initiatives and staffing, including the introduction of part-time employment, which is intended to reduce sick time, improve efficiency and produce cost savings, where appropriate.
  • The new contract also addresses significant administrative issues and gives police management some important tools to better manage the organization and offset some of the costs of the settlement.  

“We are pleased to have reached a negotiated settlement that recognizes the excellent and valuable contributions of all members, while addressing opportunities to modernize the Police Service and focus on sustainability while remaining fiscally prudent,” said Steele.

“The six-year agreement provides stability and allows us to forecast future operating budgets so that we can build on our successes to provide quality policing to the communities of the Niagara Region.”

“Reaching a negotiated settlement was an achievement that required commitment from all parties,” said McGilly. “It is always better for the parties to determine what they most need then for an arbitrator to do so.”

McGilly continued, “The settlement strikes a balance between the organizational and budgetary needs of the Board and the fair and reasonable recognition of the work performed by our civilian and uniform members. It has paved the way for collaboration on beneficial wellness initiatives, has resulted in stronger labour relations and built trust.”

 

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