The Regional Municipality of Niagara Police Services Board and the Niagara Region Police Association have reached an agreement on a new six (6) year contract for the 764 Uniform Members and 303 Civilian Members of the Police Service. The new contract runs from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2026.
The settlement was achieved through the co‑operative efforts and hard work of the parties respective Bargaining Committees and follows ten (10) days of intensive bargaining sessions. The new contract was ratified by the Police Services Board and the Police Association on November 17 and November 25, 2021, respectively.
Bill Steele, Chair of the Police Services Board, and Pat McGilly, President of the Niagara Region Police Association recognized that movement from both sides was necessary to achieve this agreement and expressed their mutual appreciation of both Bargaining Committees for their committed efforts during the negotiation process.
This is only the third contract in the last 18 years that the parties have been able to reach an agreement without the intervention of a third-party mediator or arbitrator. With this new contract, the Board, Service and Association will have the opportunity to move forward with other policing priorities.
Highlights of the settlement are set out below:
The yearly increase is 2.0 percent per annum over the duration of the contract:
2021 – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2021 and 1.0% July 1, 2021)
2022 – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2022 and 1.0% July 1, 2022)
2023 – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2023 and 1.0% July 1, 2023)
2024 – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2024 and 1.0% July 1, 2024)
2025* – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2025 and 1.0% July 1, 2025)
2026* – 2.0% (1.0% January 1, 2026 and 1.0% July 1, 2026)
*An upward adjustment may be made in 2025 and 2026 to maintain Niagara’s First Class Constable annual wage historical ranking of 6th place amongst the Province’s Big 12 Police Services.
Staged incremental increases of 1.5% in 2023 and 3.0% in 2024 on base pay for front-line patrol officers to ensure our officers are treated fairly with police comparators across the province.
Adjustments to member benefits that support and enhance member wellness.
The Board, Management and Association have agreed to work together on important issues regarding wellness initiatives and staffing, including the introduction of part-time employment, which is intended to reduce sick time, improve efficiency and produce cost savings, where appropriate.
The new contract also addresses significant administrative issues and gives police management some important tools to better manage the organization and offset some of the costs of the settlement.
“We are pleased to have reached a negotiated settlement that recognizes the excellent and valuable contributions of all members, while addressing opportunities to modernize the Police Service and focus on sustainability while remaining fiscally prudent,” said Bill Steele, Chair of the Police Services Board. “The six-year agreement provides stability and allows us to forecast future operating budgets so that we can build on our successes to provide quality policing to the communities of the Niagara Region.”
“Strong labour relations are important. I am proud of our Bargaining Team and thankful for the dedication and collaboration of the Niagara Region Police Association. Together we were able to advance an agreement that allows the Service to provide adequate and effective policing, considers the health and wellness of our members, and is within the range of other police settlements across the province,” said Jen Lawson, Bargaining Committee Chair and Member of the Police Services Board.
“Reaching a negotiated settlement was an achievement that required commitment from all parties,” said Pat McGilly, President, Niagara Region Police Association. “It is always better for the parties to determine what they most need then for an arbitrator to do so. The settlement strikes a balance between the organizational and budgetary needs of the Board and the fair and reasonable recognition of the work performed by our civilian and uniform members. It has paved the way for collaboration on beneficial wellness initiatives, has resulted in stronger labour relations and built trust.”
At this time, Board Chair Steele and NRPA President McGilly would also like to express their appreciation to Chief of Police Bryan MacCulloch, Deputy Chief Brett Flynn and Deputy Chief Bill Fordy for their involvement in this process.
The Regional Municipality of Niagara Police Services Board is the civilian governing authority for the Niagara Regional Police Service, the oldest regional police service in Ontario that patrols one of the largest geographical regions. The Niagara Regional Police provides policing and public safety to 12 municipalities totally some 450,000 residents and an estimated 15,000,000 visitors annually.
The Niagara Region Police Association represents the collective interests of over 1,000 members of the Niagara Regional Police Service who serve the communities of Niagara with courage, commitment and professionalism. The mission of the Association is to enhance public safety in Niagara through the professional representation of their members and community leadership.
Niagara Police Services Board
Deb Reid, Executive Director
(905) 688-4111 Extension 1006022
Niagara Region Police Association
Pat McGilly, President