RCMP staff to negotiate first contract

A union scenario is not expected at Langford city hall

It shouldn’t take long to move from the voting booth to the bargaining table.

The municipal employees who work at the West Shore RCMP Detachment – but are paid by the City of Langford – are heading to the negotiation stage as soon as possible to begin work on a contract.

The 19 employees, who perform administrative, clerical and other duties, voted on June 15 to join Local 50 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees. CUPE Local 50 President John Burrows said they have issued written notice to begin negotiations as soon as dates can be worked out with Langford.

“We are excited to represent a new group of employees and are hopeful we achieve the first collective agreement in short order,” Burrows said.

He said there has been no discussion regarding the employees at Langford City Hall.

Langford Mayor Stew Young said he hasn’t heard of any issues with municipal staff at the RCMP during his 22 years as mayor, and his focus remains on adding municipal staff and RCMP members to serve the community better.

The Langford staff at the detachment are under the direction of the RCMP, he said. “We pay them, but they work for the RCMP. Moving forward, we want to concentrate on adding staff and officers to make this community as safe and as crime free as we can.”

Langford chief administrative office Jim Bowden said he doesn’t believe there will be any impact from the decision by the staff at the RCMP to unionize.

“We need to provide those services to the RCMP whether we’re union or non-union,” he said.

Nor does Bowden foresee any changes regarding the staff at Langford City Hall. “We believe management and staff have an excellent relationship.”

CUPE Local 50 also represents inside and outside workers at the City of Victoria, Victoria Police Board, the Victoria branch of the BCSPCA, Gorge Vale Golf Club, Royal Oak Burial Park and the United Way of Greater Victoria. news@goldstreamgazette.com