WINNIPEG, MB: Facing a unilateral and high-handed attack by Mayor Brian Bowman and the City of Winnipeg Administration on their collective bargaining agreement, the Winnipeg Police Association (WPA) has filed a grievance in order to protect the interests of its members and their families. The grievance was filed following today’s Executive Policy Committee meeting that moved forward with a report attempting to cut pension benefits of WPA members.
“As our filings make clear, the terms of our collective agreement incorporate the terms of the Winnipeg Police Service’s pension plan,” said Maurice ‘Moe’ Sabourin, President, WPA. “Through 2017, we negotiated a new collective agreement with the City of Winnipeg and it was concluded successfully in June of that year and ratified by City Council. At the time Mayor Bowman called it the ‘longest and most sustainable’ agreement in almost 20 years. We had a deal. Now, just over two years into that sustainable agreement, the Mayor and the City Administration want to unilaterally rip it up. That’s not how contracts work, something one might expect a Mayor who used to be a lawyer to understand. We have no choice but to take action on behalf of our members,” added Sabourin.
Sabourin noted the legal process will expose the City to further costs at a time when Winnipeg is facing an alarming spike in violent crime. A conservative estimate by the WPA projects that this will cost the City hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“With 40 homicides to date, Winnipeg is on track to set a new annual record for homicides and City of Winnipeg taxpayers will now be faced with the costs of an arbitration process as well as potential damages due to actions in bad faith,” said Sabourin. “There are many possible responses to a surge in violent crime, such as providing the Winnipeg Police Service with the resources it needs to keep Winnipeg residents safe, but only Mayor Bowman can explain how tearing up our collective agreement is an answer to our crime problems. It is our hope that the City Council as a whole will take the time to reflect on the full set of facts, halt this process at the November council meeting, and get back on track with the real priorities the City must address.”
Winnipeg Police Association