Ottawa

Labour deal sets Ottawa police constables on $100K salary track

The Ottawa Police Services Board has approved a four-year labour deal with the union representing rank-and-file officers that will see first-class constables earn more than $100,000 by the end of 2019.

Agreement provides wage increases, unlimited benefits for psychologist visits

Ottawa Police Services Board Chair Eli El-Chantiry, Mayor Jim Watson, Ottawa Police Association president Matt Skof and Chief Charles Bordeleau after a meeting last August. The police board has approved a new labour deal with the police association. (CBC)

The Ottawa Police Services Board has approved a four-year labour deal with the union representing rank-and-file officers that will see first-class constables earn more than $100,000 by the end of 2019.

The board agreed to the labour deal on Monday during a special closed-door meeting at Ottawa City Hall.

The deal covers Jan. 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2019, and it includes the following wage increases:

  • A retroactive 2.05 per cent pay increase in 2016.
  • A 1.9 per cent increase in 2017.
  • Split increases in 2018 and 2019, with a 1 per cent increase effective Jan. 1 in both years and a 0.79 per cent increase on July 1, 2018 and a 0.99 per cent increase on July 1, 2019.

Under the agreement, a first-class constable would earn $94,907 by the end of 2016 and will earn $100,417 by the end of 2019.

But the agreement also slows the process by which new recruits can advance to the level — and full salary — of a first-class constable.

Under the previous deal, new officers begin as fourth-class constables and then must work 12 months before progressing through each class.

Under the new agreement, they'll spend 15 months in each class before progressing, so a new recruit will take five years instead of four to advance to the pay of a first-class constable.

The agreement also includes a number of measures aimed at improving the health of officers, including unlimited benefits for psychologist visits and changes to officer schedules when they're required to attend court following a night shift.

It's the first bargained contract between the two sides since 2008.

"The board is very pleased with the terms of the agreement," said board Chair Eli El-Chantiry in a news release.

"It prioritizes member wellness, keeps wages in line with comparable police services across the province, and has come in under budget. The board worked with the association to find a good balance between what members need and want, and what is fiscally responsible. There were concessions on both sides."