CC-102: Representation of Members Policy
Passed: December 2020
Purpose and Scope
1.1. The purpose of this policy is to provide direction on the representation of Members of the National
Police Federation (“NPF”).
2.1. The objective of the NPF is to provide strong, fair, and progressive representation to promote and enhance the rights of RCMP Members.
2.2. To pursue that objective, the NPF will represent the interests of individual Members in disputes concerning their terms and conditions of employment, in a manner that is consistent with the NPF’s mission to provide strong, fair and progressive representation to promote and enhance the rights of RCMP members.
2.3. The principles that the NPF will apply when deciding whether, and how, to represent individual Members of the NPF are:
- Respect & Fairness: The NPF will act with respect and fairly when deciding whether to represent individual Members in a specific dispute.
- No discrimination: The NPF will not discriminate against any Member of the NPF on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family status, genetic characteristics, physical or mental disability, conviction for an offence for which a pardon has been granted or in respect of which a record suspension has been ordered, and political belief or affiliation.
- Stewardship: The NPF will represent individual Members in a way that is consistent with being good stewards of NPF Membership dues.
Representation by NPF
3.1. The primary responsibility for the representation of Members on a case-by-case basis rests with:
- 3.1.1. The staff of the NPF who are hired to provide representation services to Members of the NPF.
- 3.1.2. The Officers of the NPF (namely, the President and Vice Presidents);
3.2. Representation before administrative boards and tribunals or the courts may, at the NPF’s discretion, be provided by external legal counsel, retained and instructed by NPF General Counsel. Members of the NPF do not have a solicitor-client relationship with external legal counsel retained by the NPF.
3.3. At the NPF’s discretion members of the NPF Board of Directors may intervene in an individual case as advisors.
Issues for Which NPF May Provide Representation
4.1. Members are eligible for representation for issues concerning the terms and conditions of their employment in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
4.2. The NPF may represent Members, in appropriate circumstances, in the following matters:
- 4.2.1. Conduct proceedings set out in Part IV of the RCMP Act;
- 4.2.2. Grievances alleging a breach of the collective agreement under s. 238.24 of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act;
- 4.2.3. Grievances under Part III of the RCMP Act;
- 4.2.4. Security clearance and reliability status issues; and
- 4.2.5. Applications to the Federal Court or Federal Court of Appeal in matters related to the topics listed above.
4.3. The NPF will not represent Members in the following matters:
- 4.3.1. Employment insurance disputes;
- 4.3.2. Members who have been named as a respondent to a grievance under Part III of the RCMP Act; and,
- 4.3.3. Members who were the successful candidate in an appointment or promotion exercise whose result is being challenged by a Member.
4.4. The NPF may represent Members who are involved in the following statutory proceedings and who are not being provided with legal indemnification at public expense:
- 4.4.1. Criminal Code proceedings when the offence arose during the course of the Memberâ€™s duties and the Member was acting in good faith performance of their duties;
- 4.4.2. Provincial offences proceedings when the offence arose during the course of the Memberâ€™s duties and the Member was acting in good faith performance of their duties; and,
- 4.4.3. Proceedings under Part VI (Civilian Review and Complaints Commission) or Part VII (Public Complaints) of the RCMP Act.
4.5. Members who are provided representation by the NPF in the statutory proceedings listed in article 4.4 must apply for legal indemnification at public expense and cooperate with the NPF in the course of that application process.
4.6. The NPF will not, unless there are exceptional circumstances, represent its Members in civil litigation. The NPF will only represent Members in civil litigation if the following criteria are met:
- 4.6.1. The civil litigation, on the advice of General Counsel and in the sole opinion of the Officers of the NPF, advances the collective interests of Members of the NPF;
- 4.6.2. The NPF has retained external counsel to provide an opinion on the merits of the civil litigation and that opinion provides that there is a reasonable chance of success;
- 4.6.3. The defendants, respondents, or other parties are not Members of the NPF; and,
- 4.6.4. The costs of proceeding with the civil litigation are proportionate to the likely results of the civil litigation.
Representation in Harassment
5.1. The primary responsibility for ensuring a workplace free from harassment rests with the employer.
5.2. NPF members who file workplace harassment complaints through the RCMP harassment complaint investigation and resolution process are entitled to receive procedural advice from the NPF. Where a member wishes to file a collective agreement grievance because the employer failed to provide a workplace free from harassment, the Member will be entitled to NPF representation in accordance with the terms and conditions of NPF’s Representation Policy.
5.3. NPF members who have been accused of harassment through the RCMP harassment complaint investigation and resolution process are entitled to receive procedural advice from the NPF. If the RCMP charges a member under the RCMP Code of Conduct with harassment of another RCMP member and/or if the Member receives a disciplinary penalty, the Member will be entitled to NPF representation in accordance with the terms and conditions of NPF’s Representation Policy.
5.4. The NPF may be asked to provide procedural advice and/or represent both the complainant and the accused in the circumstances described at paragraphs 5.2 and 5.3 of this Policy. In such a case, the NPF will assign separate representatives to each party. These representatives will not discuss their representation of and/or advice to these members with each other and will ensure the confidentiality of information received from the member and their own advice to the member.
5.5. The NPF does not support or condone harassment in the workplace and supports the creation of a workplace free from harassment. The NPF’s representation of members accused of harassment does not mean that the NPF condones harassment in the workplace, and it will represent those members in a manner consistent with its commitment to a workplace free from harassment and in accordance with the terms and conditions of the NPF Representation Policy.
Factors When Deciding Whether to Provide Representation
6.1. The NPF may consider the following factors when deciding whether to provide representation to a Member:
- 6.1.1. The impact of the issue or decision on the individual Member;
- 6.1.2. The degree to which the issue or decision has an impact on the NPF Membership as a whole;
- 6.1.3. The impact of the issue or decision on other individual Members of the NPF;
- 6.1.4. The likelihood of success; and
- 6.1.5. The costs of providing representation to the Member.
6.2. When a Member files a grievance alleging a breach of the collective agreement, the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act requires that the griever obtain the approval of the NPF to represent them in any adjudication of that grievance.
6.3. The NPF may cease representing a Member when:
- 6.3.1. The Member is not cooperating with their representative. This includes, but is not limited to, the Member not responding to the representative in a timely fashion and the Member failing to provide documents or information to the representative;
- 6.3.2. The Member has breached the terms of the NPF bylaws;
- 6.3.3. The Member has breached the NPF policies on Member conduct and harassment, including if the Member harasses their representative;
- 6.3.4. The Member lies to their representative or conceals material facts from their representative;
- 6.3.5. The Member retains personal legal counsel to represent them in respect of the matter without the consent of the NPF;
- 6.3.6. The Member does not accept the advice or recommendations of their representative; 6.3.7. The Member refuses an offer of settlement deemed reasonable by the NPF;
- 6.3.8. The chances of success of the Member’s defense are slim;
- 6.3.9. The NPF deems that representing the Member goes against NPF’s fundamental interests.
6.4 The NPF reserves the right to evaluate a Member’s file at any point in time in order to determine whether to represent the Member or to continue to represent the Member.
7.1 Situations may arise where two individual Members of the NPF have competing interests in a particular proceeding. In these circumstances, the NPF will designate separate individuals to represent each Member. Those files will be designated as “conflict” files, and the representatives will not be permitted to speak about those files or the individual Members with each other. The files will also be protected from being opened by a person other than the designated individual from the NPF providing representation to that Member and/or any external counsel retained by the NPF to assist either or both of the Members in conflict.
8.1. There will be times when an NPF Member disagrees with the advice they are provided by their representative. When an NPF Member disagrees with their representative, the individuals involved should attempt to resolve their differences through a thorough discussion of the case.
8.2. When an NPF representative declines to represent a Member in a particular matter, or declines to follow the Member’s preferred strategy, the Member is entitled to receive written confirmation of that decision upon request along with a written rationale for the representative’s decision. The NPF Member is also entitled to provide a written rationale for their disagreement with the strategy.
8.3. In the event that the NPF Member and their representative cannot agree on whether or how to proceed with a particular matter, the NPF Member may refer the matter to the President of the NPF within 10 days of the NPF representative declining to represent the Member, who will initiate an investigation and make a decision on the matter. The President or his/her representative will communicate the decision to the Member and all NPF representatives involved.
9.1. A policy grievance shall only be filed upon approval by the President of the NPF.
9.2. Members are reminded to use their personal e-mail addresses when corresponding with their representative and/or external legal counsel.
9.3. Members may attend their grievance hearings and other administrative processes when conducted in-person. Attendance may be in person, by telephone or by videoconference, at the NPF’s discretion, and subject to the rules of the relevant administrative body. In the case of a policy or group grievance, the NPF shall determine which Member(s), if any, shall attend at the NPF’s expense.
9.4. All travel expenses for Members required to attend grievance hearings and other administrative processes which are not provided by the Employer may be provided by the NPF at the NPF’s discretion. The NPF must pre-approve travel expenses. The travel expenses are to be provided consistent with the NPF’s travel expenses policies and guidelines, as amended from time to time. These policies and guidelines will be available to Members upon request.