Winnipeg police union contract calls for civilians, cadets to take over more work from officers in uniform

Civilians and cadets will take over more duties from officers in uniform as part of the labour deal between Winnipeg and its police union.

5-year deal for police offers wage hikes, but also less overtime pay for court appearances

Police employees have voted 19 to 1 to approve a new contract with the city. (CBC)

Civilians and cadets will take over more duties from officers in uniform as part of the labour deal between Winnipeg and its police union.

A five-year collective bargaining agreement ratified Monday by the Winnipeg Police Association calls for the civilianization of the Winnipeg Police Service's central processing and central reading units, where officers used to process suspects and read reports, respectively.

This move will replace 30 officers in uniform "with lower-paid civilian positions," Winnipeg labour relations manager Robert Kirby writes in a report to the city's executive policy committee.

The contract also allows auxiliary police cadets to perform more duties in place of officers in uniform. Cadets will be able to attend traffic hazards, escort suspects within the police headquarters, conduct building surveillance at the HQ and backfill staff vacancies in the police river patrol unit, according to the report.

The contract also the reduces the minimum hours police will be paid to attend court while they're off-duty or working overtime.

The police will, however, receive a wage increase equivalent to 2.49 per cent this year. That hike will rise to 2.61 per cent in 2018 but then decline to 1.63 per cent in 2019, 1.61 per cent in 2020 and then 1.59 per cent during the final year of the contract.

The deal will cost the city an additional $54.4 million over the lifetime of the contract, according to the report.

Winnipeg Police Association president Moe Sabourin says about 95 per cent of police employees approved the deal. (CBC News)
Members of the Winnipeg Police Association, which represents 1,443 officers in uniform and 526 civilians, voted "about 95 per cent" to approve this collective bargaining agreement, union president Moe Sabourin said.

The contract will be considered Wednesday morning at a special meeting of executive policy committee. It will then come before council later Wednesday.

Council may decide to hold a special meeting in late June or early July to approve a separate deal with Winnipeg's largest union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500, which represents 5,070 city workers.

CUPE 500 holds a ratification vote on their contract on June 29.

Pending the ratification of the CUPE and police association contracts, the city still has several more unions without labour deals.

The Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union Local 911, which represents 324 paramedics, has been without a contract since Feb. 18.

The Winnipeg Police Senior Officers' Association, which represents 32 senior officers, has been without a contract since Christmas Eve 2016.

The Winnipeg Association of Public Service Officers, which represents 739 city professionals and middle managers, has been without a contract since October 2015. Arbitration hearings have been held.