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Didsbury council wants to discuss policing costs with MP

Based on information provided in May 2021 from RCMP K Division, the estimated retro pay raise amount for Didsbury was $114,623

DIDSBURY - Council has instructed administration to arrange a delegation appearance by Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen to discuss RCMP retroactive pay estimates.

The move came by way of motion at the Jan. 24 council meeting, held in person and on YouTube.

In December, council instructed administration to bring back the amount that would be owed by the Town of Didsbury in retroactive pay for RCMP members under a new federal collective agreement.

“Based on information provided in May 2021 from K (Alberta) Division, the estimated retro pay raise amount for Didsbury was $114,623,” administration said in a briefing note to council. “The town would be responsible for 70 per cent, for a total payment of $80,236.”

Administration said there are concerns with the estimates provided to the town, including that Didsbury was not responsible for contact policing payments until April 2022; however, the calculations includes amounts from several fiscal years prior to that date.

“A recalculation prepared by administration gives an estimated pay raise of $43,883. At 70 per cent the payment would be $30,718. This calculation is based on only one fiscal year, April 2020 to March 2021.

“Since then, an estimate under separate correspondence, from early 2020, states that the retroactive payments can be estimated at a range of $45,000 to $47,000 per year for four years ($180,000 - $188,000).”

Administration has requested updated information regarding the retroactive pay situation but had not received a reply prior to the Jan. 24 meeting, council heard.

Council passed a motion asking administration to set up a delegate appearance by MP Dreeshen at a time of his convenience.

Following the council meeting, mayor Rhonda Hunter told the Albertan that the municipalities in Alberta are lobbying the federal government regarding the retroactive pay.

“We are advocating that municipalities don’t pay the retroactive pay; that the federal government does,” she said. "We didn’t have a say in the new collective agreement. We are having our MP come and hear our concerns.”



Dan Singleton

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