ARCHIVED - Improving Accountability in Human Resources
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Modernized Human Resource Management
The proposed Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act will provide the RCMP Commissioner with increased authorities to better manage the organization, and create structural and operational efficiencies through reorganizing the RCMP's workforce.
Increased Commissioner Authorities
To effectively manage an organization as large and complex as the RCMP, the Commissioner requires the ability to make fundamental human resource decisions in the interest of the organization, its employees and all Canadians. The Commissioner currently lacks the authority to effectively manage many of the basic, but vital components of the RCMP workforce.
The proposed legislation will provide the Commissioner:
- the direct authority to discharge members for various non-disciplinary administrative reasons (e.g., including performance and absenteeism from the workplace);
- the ability to appoint most commissioned officers, improving the timeliness of succession planning and putting in place the senior leaders for the RCMP.
- The authority to establish periods of probation and basic requirements for members.
Category of Employee
RCMP employees are currently divided into three categories: regular members, civilian members and public service employees. Each category contains different terms and conditions of employment, different hiring practices and policies, job classifications, and regimes for discipline and dismissal for each category, making it extremely difficult to manage human resources effectively and efficiently across the organization.
The proposal transitions the RCMP from operating with three categories of employees, to two. It provides a mechanism whereby civilian members can be directly converted to public service employees, the timing of which will be determined by the Treasury Board. Former civilian members will benefit from the increased mobility afforded to all public service employees. Over time, the RCMP will benefit from increased efficiencies through the application of a harmonized compensation, pension and benefits package for all civilian employees.
More Effective Discipline & Grievance Process
The proposed Enhancing Royal Canadian Mounted Police Accountability Act will streamline current discipline and grievance processes within the RCMP in order to achieve more timely resolution of conduct and workplace issues. The new measures will enable fast, effective and proportionate discipline
The current process is overly rigid and bureaucratic. Frontline managers, such as detachment commanders, have very few options available to address serious misconduct.
Any serious cases, those requiring more than a reprimand for example, must be referred to an adjudication board which is made up of three senior officers who must follow a heavily regulated process prior to making a determination. On average, matters can take up to five years to be fully resolved.
The current process takes the matter out of the supervisor's hands and tends to create an adversarial work environment with significant delays in disciplinary action. Under our new legislation, serious matters could be dealt with in as little as one year, or hopefully less for relatively straightforward conduct issues.
Under the Act, managers will also have more options for response, for example through access to a broader range of sanctions, ranging from educational or training-based approaches, to corrective (e.g., suspension of pay, deferral of promotion opportunities for a specific period of time).
In cases where dismissal may be an outcome, the manager or commander would be required to refer the case to a conduct board. However, those boards would be significantly different from the current adjudication boards in that they would have the discretion necessary to consider and resolve cases in the most informal and expeditious manner as possible, given the circumstances.
There will no longer be a strict requirement that a formal hearing be conducted in every case. Each case will be considered based on its specific context. The formality and administrative burdens will be significantly reduced in favour of a fair, streamlined and proportionate system.
Additionally, the new legislation provides the Commissioner with the authority to develop a process for the investigation and resolution of harassment complaints where the respondent is a member of the Force.
Currently, RCMP managers faced with harassment issues have two different processes they must follow: one under Treasury Board policy and one under the RCMP Act. These processes do not always align, which can lead to confusion about rights, responsibilities and approaches available. Moving forward, the Commissioner will have the authority to establish a single, comprehensive system for investigating and resolving harassment concerns.
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