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Winnipeg police, union strike tentative deal over pension, wages


Winnipeg police officers could soon be paying a little more towards their retirement.

A new report to the Mayor’s Executive Policy Committee says a tentative deal has been struck between the city and union.

Retroactive from July 2022, and going forward to December 2025, officers will see wage increases over around 3.13 per cent annually.

One of the more notable changes to the agreement relates to a long-standing issue at City Hall over the police pension.

Police members will now increase their contributions from 8 per cent to 9.6 per cent, a 1.6 per cent bump. This will lower the city’s obligations from 21.78 per cent to 20.18 per cent.

Winnipeg Police Board Chair Markus Chambers calls this a good step.

“The pension issue has been a long-standing issue and I’m glad we’re able to negotiate that at this point in time,” said Chambers.

But this is a far cry from the arrangement former Mayor Brian Bowman, and his administration was trying to achieve.

Under his leadership, council narrowly voted to change the pension plan so both sides put in the same rates, and overtime would no longer have been a pensionable earning. There was also a reduction to early retirement provisions.

An arbitrator ruled against the city, saying it could not act outside of the bargaining table, and awarded damages to the union.

Mayor Scott Gillingham says the city needs to move towards a more equal contribution rate.

“Certainly, we’re not there yet, but this gets us moving in the right direction,” said Gillingham.

The deal also includes a change to the early retirement pension reduction, from 3.6 per cent to 4 per cent annually, but no mention of the pensionable earning stipulation.

Late Wednesday afternoon, the Winnipeg Police Association (WPA) said the deal had been ratified on its end.

"We are proud to have achieved another sustainable and successfully negotiated contract, and we commend the collaborative efforts to both bargaining teams," said Cory Wiles, WPA president.

"We look forward to City Council's discussions and the process being completed over the coming weeks."

The deal also requires approval from council.

Changes to the pension, which require bylaw amendments, also need to be ratified by the Winnipeg Police Seniors Officer Association.

The report says the cost increases to the city over the term of the agreement amount to $57 million. Top Stories

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