The ERC reviews a variety of matters that must be referred to it under statute or regulation, including:
- appeals of certain decisions made by RCMP Conduct Authorities and RCMP Conduct Boards;
- appeals of certain decisions made in RCMP processes other than the conduct process; and
- grievances involving assorted issues, commenced under the RCMP’s previous statutory scheme.
The ERC provides its findings and recommendations in an appeal or a grievance to the Commissioner of the RCMP. The Commissioner of the RCMP is not bound by the ERC’s Findings and Recommendations.
The ERC is the only independent review body available to RCMP members for these matters, other than the Federal Court. A party can apply to the Federal Court after the Commissioner or delegate makes the final decision in a matter.
The ERC impartially reviews appeals of certain conduct measures imposed on RCMP members, and of written decisions regarding harassment complaints, revocations of appointments, discharges, demotions and ordered stoppages of pay and allowances. The ERC also impartially reviews cases in a shrinking pool of diverse grievance matters that RCMP members presented under legislation that is no longer in effect.
When reviewing an appeal or a grievance, the ERC considers the entire record provided by the RCMP. Records can include authorities, statements (e.g., from appellants, grievors, respondents and witnesses), video and audio evidence, testimony, historical human resources materials, and many other documents.
The ERC prepares its findings and recommendations in accordance with the RCMP Act, and with the general principles of administrative and labour law. Findings and recommendations will address the specific case before the ERC, but sometimes also recommend wider changes or actions involving issues raised in that case. These may include changes to RCMP policies or management practices, or additional or new training for RCMP members or managers. Although final decision-makers need not follow the ERC’s findings and recommendations, the RCMP Act requires that they include reasons for not doing so.
The ERC participates in a number of outreach and communications activities which support the administration of its file reviews, and which contribute to awareness and understanding of workplace issues within the RCMP. These activities include presentations or discussions with RCMP managers and workplace representatives, the regular publication of the ERC Communiqué and its distribution within the RCMP, and occasional articles or discussion papers on topics of interest related to the ERC’s work.
The ERC contributes to fair and equitable labour relations and accountability within the RCMP, through its independent and impartial review of appeal cases.
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