City seeks to remove overtime from pensionable earnings of police officers

By | August 14, 2019

The City of Winnipeg has notified the mayor and city councillors it plans to move forward with a proposal to remove overtime from the pensionable earnings of police officers, according to an email obtained by CTV News Winnipeg.

In the email sent to the mayor and city councillors, interim chief administrative officer Mike Ruta wrote he’s sending a letter to the Winnipeg Police Association and Winnipeg Police Senior Officers’ Association advising the groups that the city will be proceeding with a report for council consideration proposing changes to the City of Winnipeg Police Pension Plan.

Ruta wrote the city is seeking affordable and sustainable changes to the plan.

Read the full email below.

“One of the proposed amendments is to remove overtime from pensionable earnings and then reinvest savings estimated to be $1.5 million annually into police operations,” Ruta wrote. “Other amendments include equal sharing of plan costs and adjustments to early retirement provisions. Generally these proposed revisions are consistent with other similar pension plans.”

Ruta’s email states the city has held talks and corresponded with the police associations on the plan, but so far no revisions have been brought forward for council approval.

The report will be submitted to council in the fall and if approved, revisions would be implemented Jan. 1, 2020, according to the email.

Winnipeg Police Association president Moe Sabourin told CTV News Winnipeg he received the letter from the city but has yet to release it to members.

Sabourin said meetings will take place Thursday to share the content of the letter with members and come up with a plan of action.

“We acknowledge receipt of a letter from Mike Ruta that indicates that they are unilaterally attempting to change benefits at the September meeting,” said Sabourin. “It’s more than just pensionable overtime; it is a complete overhaul of benefits that our members are entitled to.”

Sabourin said the police association has obtained legal opinions that pensionable overtime is a negotiated item which he said can only be changed through collective bargaining.

The police association may have more to say Friday, following Thursday’s meetings, Sabourin said.

CTV News Winnipeg has reached out to the city for comment.