Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Discussion regarding human resource management.

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ve6dkk
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Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby ve6dkk » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:17 pm

Dear Forum Users:

I consider myself a common sense individual, but I am having a difficult time wrapping my head around the following situation faced by a member of the RCMP.

A seven-year member was living apart from his family for the past two years in order to maintain employment with the RCMP. The member approached staffing department inquiring to get a transfer of 180 km from his current post, which would allow the member to live in the same residence as his family. He was simply told, without any consideration, the infamous “You are not releasable to the adjoining Province”.

This member had the following characteristics:

- Seven year member
- Excellent record (no internal complaints, excellent annual assessments from all supervisors)
- Highly educated (Both University and College level education, clearly surpassed minimum RCMP requirement, High School equivalent)
- Mature individual, extensive life experience.
- Team player, well liked by co-workers.

There were several rural postings (undesirable to seasoned members, typically) around his family residence over the past year, all of which were filled by new members, fresh out of Depot. The Seven-year member was not even considered for those positions.

One of key requirements when joining the RCMP is to agree to locate “where the need is greatest”. It would seem that given the high number of vacant positions across Canada, primarily due to retiring members, that the need is greatest everywhere.

The discussion I would like to generate is to get ideas as to why Staffing Department would allow such a member to move on from the RCMP at a time where the entrance standards have been dropped, a huge number of retirees on the horizon with a substantial lower number of interested / acceptable applicants interested in filling the retirees positions.

Staffing members allowing even one acceptable member leave the force when there are reasonable options available to retain such an employee as I mentioned, seems counter productive and a drain on morale to the entire force.

My understanding is that the RCMP is one big brother/sisterhood, where members look out for one another. It is obvious that the Staffing Department does not follow that same philosophy.

The discussion I would like to facilitate is based on the following:

Why is it that the Staffing Department allowed to treat their members with such disregard? Why are Staffing members taken to task for their lack of management ability by their supervisiors?

The reality is, the RCMP is losing a member. Would it not make sense to have a win-win situation where the member (lives with his family) and the RCMP (retains a proven, educated and mature member) are satisfied with the outcome?

It truly boggles the mind. Any thoughts?

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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby mcdonaja » Thu Dec 23, 2010 5:21 pm

One of the reasons the Pony Soldiers are somewhat broken and in dire need of an overhaul. I don't think any of my bros in the serge would disagree. Their entire management philosophy is questionable to say the least.
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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby TwE@k » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:49 pm

Is there no way this Officer could lateral to a Municipal service near his family? Or it that part of the issue (RCMP service in the area).
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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby VanSmack » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:14 pm

I know the member in question and a lateral wouldn't help him.

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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby TwE@k » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:18 pm

Well I am sorry to hear that.....sounds like a no win situation for the Officer. I have never understood why issues like come up. it seems like a VERY easy fix to me.
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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby VanSmack » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:23 pm

the unofficial policy of staffing and personnel (shafting impersonal) is " we're not happy unless you're not happy." I've got tons of stories of people being promised things only to get screwed over when it congress time to deliver.
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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby TwE@k » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:30 pm

This may seem like a stupid question but..........Why would the RCMP management not go out of their way to accommodate the front line Officers at every chance?? Moving to another area seems like it would be an easy thing to do. I can understand if they made you wait a few months to a year to get another Officer in to replace you but to flat out say no seems......well......fu@king stupid to me :ponder:
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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby Lastknotch » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:33 pm

Very good post and forum topic. However I think you may have just open up Pandora's shitbox with the member's on here. This my friend is a debated topic across 750+ RCMP Post across Canada, that 20,000+ regular members have yet to wrap their heads around staffings policies. It would seem to me that the retention of the membership should be the forces ultimate goal, however staffing will rarely accomodate for member' needs. This comes down to the paramilitary makeup of the policies that have been in place probably since the inception of the force. However it often seems that exceptions on transfer policies are only made when the force not the member is suffering a hardship. Unfortunately as it stands now with the current system in place, we are generally faced with the same response, that "we would love to transfer everyone to where they would like to go, but with today finacial restraint's, regional or inter-divisions transfer's are just to costly". My experience dealing with staffing is like trying to push shit up a hill. Also the fact that our pensions are not easily transferable to a provincial/municipal pension plans, staffing is not overly concerned that members will resign if they are unhappy.

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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby mcdonaja » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:51 pm

Can't see why it would be a hardship. For the odots the majority of transfer requests, other than from promotions are at the members expense, end of story.

I've had 12 transfers in my career and they were all on my dime.

Any reason this wouldn't work with the ponies?
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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby Lastknotch » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:05 pm

We are unable to do no cost transfers. My understanding is that members have made deal's with staffing to relocate themselves on their own $ then after the member(s) have settled to their new post, the good old greivances are submitted and paid out which ruined the no cost transfers. At least that is what staffing informed me wen asked if that was an viable option. Mcdonaja that would only make sense but we are dealing dealing with the Feds here.

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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby VanSmack » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:30 am

mcdonaja wrote:Can't see why it would be a hardship. For the odots the majority of transfer requests, other than from promotions are at the members expense, end of story.

I've had 12 transfers in my career and they were all on my dime.

Any reason this wouldn't work with the ponies?
There are multiple reasons that it wouldn't work for the RCMP. First and foremost is the fact that our transfers are not supposed to be "optional" when you tell a member he has to move and he has no choice, and then add to it the fact that he'll be out of pocket for the cost associated to it, I'm not sure how well that would fly, the grievances/court challenges would run rampant and staffing would grind to even more of a halt. Second, given the geography involved, moving a member and his family from Newfloundland to Alberta or Southern Ontario to Nunavut could very realistically eat up as much as 50% of a members pre-tax income. The vast majority of O-dot postings are accessible by road networks that can make moves as easy as hiring AMJ Campbell to bring a truck and a few guys to pack and load everything (without getting into the stuff related to buying and selling your house, of course). Virtually every transfer I have had in my career aside from my initial posting out of Depot involved my stuff having to be loaded onto at least two airplanes to get where they were going.

As for accommodating members, I agree, the Force should be taking steps to do so. There seems to be an old school mentality in the management of the RCMP however that says that they should want to keep members in the mindset that career planning is more in staffing's hands than the member's hands. This may have something to do with them not wanting to transfer a member somewhere they won't want to eventually be transferred out of. When I came out of V Division Staffing was supposed to accommodate my staffing request to a certain extent. I called the guy in staffing for the division I wanted to go to and told him the position I wanted and asked him where the vacancies were. He gave me a list of three cities with vacancies, one of which was what I was hoping for prior to speaking with him. I told him I wanted City A, then he kind of threw up a mini song and dance saying, "well technically it's vacant, but we've offered it to another guy, but his line officer has not deemed him releaseable, so he hasn't been able to take it, so we're not going to let you have it. Pick from City B or C." I was in my spot for three and a half months before they filled the vacancy in City A. If they were really interested in accommodating members they would have given me the spot I asked for after making a sacrifice for the Froce by doing 4 years in an LDP. Instead they decided it was worth leaving the spot open because there was an outside chance that the guy they had offered it to would be released and they could fill it with him and otherwise fill a vacancy that they were having a hard time filling.

I have another buddy who did three years in a V div. LDP. When he was due for transfer he wanted to go to Whitehorse Detachment. He called up M Division Staffing and said to them that he just finished 3 years in an LDP and that he wanted to go to Whitehorse. Staffing there told him that they wouldn't take members from out of division straight into Whitehorse, as they only offered it to members who had worked in an M division LDP first (this is a tactic they used on me when I went to V Div as well, "Iqaluit is reserved for members who have done a settlement first," - yeah right!). He told them he'd already done his LDP and he wasn't interested in doing another one so to forget it and he'd be calling another division instead. He called his second choice and talked to their staffing guy, got an offer for a position he thought he wanted. The next day M division calls him up telling him that they have opened up two STE - Surplus to Establishment (basically indeterminate positions) spots in Whitehorse and wanted to offer him one of them. This was basically a contrived ploy to get him to transfer to the Yukon, and then about a month after he got there they would have killed the funding for the STE position, and since he was then on the books as an M division member they would be able to ship him out to the LDP he didn't want to go to in the first place. Luckily the guy didn't take it and had a decent second option that he could fall back on.

This is harder for the original poster though, as the member in question is trying to go from Sask to Alberta, and those divisions aren't overly eager to let their members transfer out if they can avoid it.

Also, part of the reason that they'll fill vacancies with cadets instead of experienced members is expenses, when a cadet gets transferred to his first post, the cost of the transfer falls to Depot's budget. When an experienced member transfers, the receiving Division is on the hook for the transfer costs. Plus for the first 3 years it's cheaper to pay salary for a rookie than it is for a senior member. Sad but true, we are a budget driven organization.
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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby argyll » Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:52 pm

My experience is that Staffing is scared that if they bow to one member's request then the floodgates will open and they'll have all the members knocking on their doors. I think I've related before how, when I put my papers in, the Inspector basically said I could go anywhere in the country if I would stay with the RCMP. I said the only place I would be interested in was back to Depot as I didn't feel I had finished my stint there (the reasons which are entirely too long to go into here) but Depot came back and said they were full when friends I had who were still there said they were crying out for corporals, especially ones trained in the CTP. Basically they want to remain in control and not let anyone think they are getting one over on them.
Last edited by argyll on Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby mcdonaja » Fri Dec 24, 2010 1:35 pm

I'm sure glad that I picked heads when I did the coin toss.
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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby CDM » Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:08 pm

There is a simple way to solve this problem, Association, the RCMP talks about credibility, but staffing has none

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Re: Why Does RCMP Staffing Personel do what they do?

Postby VanSmack » Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:42 pm

CDM wrote:There is a simple way to solve this problem, Association, the RCMP talks about credibility, but staffing has none
I really can't seeing an association finding a way to strong arm staffing into transferring a member to his or her desired posting. I know the guy involved here, and while his situation is unfortunate, it's not unique. the are tons of guys who would like to get transferred back to where they lived before they got hired. I can't see any sort of cba or arbitration coming along requiring the Force to let an association tell them who to staff to which position. the member in question wanted to move because his family didn't want to move with him. while it sucks, it certainly doesn't constitute grounds fit a compassionate transfer.

so while I'm generally in favour of an association, I'm not going to suit here and pretend that they're some sort of magic panacea that will immediately get every member everything they want.
When people get too chummy with me, I like to call them by the wrong name to let them know I don’t really care about them.


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