Montreal police officers have voted overwhelmingly in favour of a new collective agreement.
The final results of the vote by members of the Montreal police brotherhood, the union representing the city's officers, show 95.3 per cent in favour of the agreement.
Montreal's 4,600 police officers have been without a collective agreement since 2015.
Slightly more than 80 per cent of members cast a vote.
The agreement provides a cumulative salary increase of 20.75 per cent over seven years.
Those increases are retroactive to 2015.
The increases per year are as follows:
- 2015: 2.25%
- 2016: 2.25%
- 2017: 5.25%
- 2018: 2.75%
- 2019: 3.25%
- 2020: 2.75%
- 2021: 2.25%
These increases include an increase in base salary, an increase in the "metropolitan premium" and a new "service level" premium.
The police brotherhood and the City of Montreal finalized the agreement in June. Now that police have voted in favour of it, the agreement will be put before the city's executive committee for final approval.
'Good news for Montrealers,' says Coderre
In a news release issued Thursday night, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre welcomed the vote, which brings an end to three years of police pressure tactices, namely the wearing of colourful pants.
"The agreement allows us to offer working conditions that reflect the inherent challenges of police work," Coderre said.
"It also brings an end to the pressure tactics tied to pension reform, and that's good news for Montrealers."
The contribution to the police pension plan will also gradually increase from 7 per cent on January 1 to 13.75 per cent on Jan. 1, 2020. The City's contribution will be reduced to the same level.
Effective January 1, 2020, the cost of the pension plan will be shared equally, as required by legislation adopted by Quebec's government.
Prior to the enactment of this legislation, the union member contribution rate was 7 per cent, compared with 21 per cent for the City of Montreal.
The union said part of the proposed salary increase is meant to compensate for the significant increase in the police contribution to their pension plan.
No suspensions without pay, more cadets on traffic duty
The deal also abolishes suspensions without pay for officers who are under investigation.
Under the collective agreement, 75 per cent of traffic control duties will be entrusted to cadets, with the remaining 25 per cent being the responsibility of patrollers.
At present, traffic control duties are performed by agents working overtime, resulting in significant costs for taxpayers.
Earlier this summer, union members of the Sûreté du Québec ratified an employment contract providing for increases of 17.5 per cent over seven years.