Two times more employees in disability

News 27 August, 2017
  • Photo Agence QMI, Charles-A. Gagnon
    The government of Justin Trudeau has had to devote$ 76 Million to address the explosion a considerable number of employees of the royal Canadian mounted police disability.

    Christopher Nardi

    Sunday, 27 August, 2017 08:00

    Sunday, 27 August, 2017 08:00

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    OTTAWA | The number of employees of the RCMP who receive their full pension early due to a disability has almost doubled in the past five years, mainly for reasons of mental health. An unexpected increase which cost$ 76 Million to Ottawa.

    But what happens for employees of the royal Canadian mounted police (RCMP) ? In 2012, 129 regular and civilian members have requested to receive a payment for disability – either their full pension – because they have to leave the force prematurely because of a physical or mental problem that could last for their entire life.

    Now, this figure has doubled and reached a peak of 249 last year, according to figures obtained by The Journal.

    This abundance of new applications has therefore led to a surge in the number of employees who receive their full pension due to disability. In fact, the total number of disabled employees has almost doubled between 2012 and 2016, from $ 488 849.

    Data of concern, but that does not surprise many leaders of associations that represent the employees of the RCMP.

    “We note of course that there are more departures, sick leave and disability. I think people are less afraid to take the time it takes to heal, but there is also an additional stress associated with a constant decrease in enrolment since the last few years, ” commented Serge Bilodeau, president of the Association of members of the mounted police du Québec (AMPMQ).

    Constant rise

    One of the high officials of the Treasury Board secretariat of Canada, the employer of the federal government, was surprised to find this marked increase for several years before a senate committee in February.

    However, this constant rise in fact that the disability insurance plan to which contributions employees (15 %) and the government (85 %) is in financial difficulty and has required an additional investment of $ 76 million by Ottawa, revealed Renée LaFontaine, senior director of finance, before the committee on national finance in February.

    The funds have been released the following month.

    “To give you an idea [of the increase], we make the point every quarter. Employees benefit from the system for years, but since the third quarter of 2016, for example, the number of new claimants has increased from 36 to 71. This gives you an overview of the volume and of the magnitude of the change, ” commented Ms. LaFontaine.

    Mental health

    While the RCMP is accused for several years of having an organization beset by the harassment, the RCMP data illustrate another disturbing phenomenon : a surge of departures on disability due to mental health problems.

    In fact, in 2016, close to a claim for benefits was in connection with mental disorders, according to the RCMP data. This figure has jumped nearly 10 % in five years.

    “The police work is stressful, regardless of the service for which you are working. The RCMP has been much slower than others to recognize the fact that its members need more support and support services to improve their mental state and reduce stress, ” commented Brian Sauvé, co-chair of the Federation of the national police.

    Auditor general

    This situation has even been denounced by the auditor general of Canada in a report published in the month of may.

    “The RCMP has not allocated enough resources to implement its strategy [to address the issue of mental health],” said Michael Ferguson.

    For its part, the RCMP has indicated that it could not comment on the increase of disability claims under the pretext that the data it has itself transmitted is ” confidential “.

    “The RCMP takes very seriously the health and well-being of all its employees,” said a spokesman, adding that the police has launched many new support services to employees.

    Number of new claims for disability benefits for the RCMP from 2012 to 2016

    ►2012: 129

    ►2013: 206

    ►2014: 159

    ►2015: 243

    ►2016: 249

    The total number of beneficiaries of disability per year between 2012 and 2016

    ►2012: 488

    ►2013: 542

    ►2014: 596

    ►2015: 744

    ►2016: 849