WINNIPEG, MB: Winnipeg Police Association (WPA) President Maurice ‘Moe’ Sabourin submitted an open letter to the members of Winnipeg City Council today urging them to uphold the City of Winnipeg’s collective agreement with the WPA and reject the legally risky approach being taken by Mayor Bowman to unilaterally cut the pension benefits of WPA members and their families.
“The collective agreement we reached with the City is very clear – our pension benefits are part of that agreement. This is a collective agreement Mayor Bowman himself voted to ratify two years ago, calling it the ‘most sustainable agreement in 20 years’,” said Sabourin. “The course the Mayor and senior City administration officials now want council to endorse is one that will put taxpayers at risk of further losses, will harm morale among Winnipeg Police Service members, and will not address the challenges facing the City of Winnipeg. This distraction might benefit the Mayor, but it will not benefit the people he has been elected to serve.”
Sabourin noted that the City of Winnipeg has negotiated on the pension plan countless times in the past 40 years, a clear indication they understand it is a part of the collective agreement process. He also pointed to the many instances where negotiations have provided benefits to taxpayers.
“It was through negotiations that we saw the creation of the cadet corps, the civilianization of positions, the reset of civilian salaries and reductions in terms of court costs,” said Sabourin. “We are hoping the members of council will see this and correct the course the City is taking. We look forward to a respectful discussion tomorrow and we are confident city councillors will consider all of the facts in the best interests of their constituents.”
The WPA filed a grievance last week following an Executive Policy Committee meeting that moved forward with a report attempting to cut the pensionable benefits of its members. If the Council is unwilling to correct the Mayor’s approach this week, Sabourin is hopeful they will at least withhold implementation until the dispute process is completed, so WPA members can make decisions on their future without any uncertainty about the financial impacts on their families.
Winnipeg Police Association
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