First Nations Officers Demand Respect

Kenora – On March 22, 2013, the Treaty Three Police Services Board announced in a letter to their officers, that they would be unilaterally changing their conditions of employment effective April 1, 2013.

These officers are represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and have a negotiated collective agreement still in effect. The Police Services Board is disregarding this legal obligation and making significant changes to the workplace including reducing officers pay and decreasing maternity and paternity benefits.

The reduction of salaries for officers with 8 years or more of service comes just after a recently awarded arbitrator’s decision to pay all officers parity with their Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) counterparts.

“For years, First Nations officers have been fighting for equity with the OPP and now that they have won this fight in a settlement, their employer has turned around and reneged on their obligation,” states Sharon DeSousa, PSAC Regional Executive Vice-President for Ontario.

The letter sent to workers does not clarify whether management or the Chief of Police, Conrad Delaronde would be making any such sacrifices themselves. The Treaty Three Police Services Board had made no mention of its intentions to enact any changes to its workplaces during negotiations with PSAC, and workers were left stunned by this unilateral decision to their working lives.

“We’re curious why this employer is picking on young families, who are now forced to return from maternity leave earlier to support their children”, says Sharon DeSousa, “if the employer had brought their concerns to the workers, we could have negotiated a fair compromise.”

PSAC will continue to be a strong advocate for increased government funding for First Nations servicing and programs, including First Nations Policing. Treaty Three recently laid off 8 officers on April 1st, 2013, because of a lack of funding, which has continued to jeopardize services to First Nation communities.


Lino Vieira, PSAC Communications Officer – 416-577-0238 (