Vernon Mounties remove yellow stripe to protest pay, working conditions
This Vernon RCMP officer can be seen without the yellow stripe on his uniform. Removing the stripe is part of a country-wide protest for increased pay and improved working conditions.
(CHARLOTTE HELSTON / iNFOnews.ca)
April 10, 2017 - 9:00 PM
VERNON - Some Vernon police officers are joining the Canada-wide ‘No-Stripe Campaign’ in protest of current wages and working conditions.
The recent movement has seen officers from Ottawa to North Vancouver remove or cover the yellow stripe on their pant legs, and over the past few days, police in Vernon have been observed following suit.
According to the National Police Federation, a group seeking to become the certified bargaining agent for members of the non-unionized RCMP, the No-Stripe Campaign is, in part, a passive protest over the government’s new net pay package. That package includes a retroactive salary increase of 1.25 per cent effective Jan. 1 2015, another 1.25 per cent raise effective Jan.1, 2016 and a 2.3 per cent market adjustment effective April 1, 2016. The federation says the package is inadequate.
“This no-stripe movement is an admirable and passive expression of our discontentment with the ongoing lack of respect and appropriate compensation demonstrated by RCMP leadership and government,” the federation says on its website.
One outspoken Mountie from the Sunshine Coast told CBC News he has been verbally reprimanded by the RCMP for speaking out about unfair compensation, but will continue to be vocal about the issue.
The National Police Federation asks any officers who are reprimanded or penalized for the protest to contact them directly.
Aside from wages, the movement is also a protest over a lack of human resources, rising detachment attrition rates with no plan to improve or increase recruitment, inconsistent and prosecutorial use of the disciplinary process, and excessive use of overtime, according to the federation. Some of these issues were profiled in the iNFOnews.ca investigation ‘Risk it Out.’
Another purpose of the no-stripe campaign is to get other members on board with signing up for a union. Thousands have already signed on with the National Police Federation. The group needs 40 per cent of all RCMP members signed up before they can apply for certification.
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