In an important win for members of CUPE 104, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board has declared that the Treasury Board of Canada engaged in unfair labour practices when it tried to penalize members of CUPE 104 for unionizing. The decision upholds the rights of 1,200 CUPE members who work in the Intercept Monitoring and Telecommunications Operations of the RCMP.
Back in 2016, almost all RCMP employees received a raise, including a 2.3% market increase. However, members in the process of unionizing with CUPE were explicitly excluded. CUPE launched an official complaint in 2017.
In its decision released Monday, the Board ordered the employer to pay retroactive compensation for the last seven years to all employees of the bargaining unit. This will amount on average to approximately $10,000 per member of CUPE 104.
CUPE had also argued that the refusal to pay the same wage increases that were paid to regular members was an unfair labour practice because it discriminated against employees for unionizing with CUPE. The Board agreed, saying: “The pay raise was being withheld because of CUPE’s certification application. I cannot, as the respondent (government) urged, attribute this to unfortunate timing. This was retribution against the civilian members because they were participating in the formation of an employee organization.”
But the fight continues. CUPE 104 is still at the bargaining table to reach a first collective agreement. These frontline workers are understaffed and under-paid, resulting in longer response times that put Canadians at risk. CUPE continues to support these workers in their fight for a fair deal.