Representation of Members Policy
1. Purpose and Scope
1.1. The purpose of this Policy is to provide clarity and direction on the extent and nature of the representation the National Police Federation (“NPF”) may provide to its Members.
1.2. The factors which will inform the NPF’s ability to provide representation to its Members will vary in accordance with the nature of the issue.
1.3. For clarity, “representation” refers to the assignment of NPF resources, NPF Staff, NPF Elected Officials and/or legal counsel to an individual NPF Member file, to be determined on a case-by-case basis at the NPF’s sole discretion.
1.4. For further clarity “representation” is distinct from “procedural guidance”, the latter being limited to the NPF identifying redress mechanisms available to the Member, providing an overview of the mechanism and applicable timelines and/or directing the Member to appropriate guides or resources.
2.1. The mission of the NPF is to provide strong, fair, and progressive representation to promote and enhance the rights of its Members.
2.2. To pursue that objective, the NPF may 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.
2.3. Consistent with its mission, the NPF will apply the following principles when deciding whether it will provide representation to its Members:
- 2.3.1. Respect & Fairness: The NPF will act fairly and with respect when deciding whether to represent individual Members in a specific dispute.
- 2.3.2. 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.
- 2.3.3. Stewardship: The NPF will represent individual Members in a way that is consistent with being good stewards of NPF Membership dues.
3. Representation by the NPF – Roles and Responsibilities
3.1. The primary responsibility for the representation of Members rests with:
- 3.1.1. The staff of the NPF hired to provide representation services to Members of the NPF; and
- 3.1.2. The Officers of the NPF (namely, the President and Vice Presidents).
3.2. Representation before administrative boards, tribunals or courts may, at the NPF’s discretion, be provided by the NPF’s Legal Department or external legal counsel. In cases of representation by external legal counsel, counsel will be retained and instructed by the NPF’s Legal Department.
Members of the NPF do not have a solicitor-client relationship with legal counsel retained by the NPF.
3.3. At the NPF’s sole discretion, members of the NPF Board of Directors may intervene in an individual case as advisors.
4. Factors when Deciding to Provide Representation
4.1. The NPF will consider the following factors when deciding whether it will elect to provide representation to a Member in the context of proceedings listed in section 5:
- 4.1.1. The impact of the issue or decision on the individual Member;
- 4.1.2. The degree to which the issue or decision has an impact on the NPF Membership as a whole;
- 4.1.3. The impact of the issue or decision on other individual Members of the NPF;
- 4.1.4. The likelihood of success; and
- 4.1.5. The costs of providing representation to the Member.
4.12. The factors identified in section 4.1 are not exhaustive. Other factors may be considered in accordance with the nature of the request and the proceeding in question.
5. Issues for which the NPF may Provide Representation
5.1 Labour and Employment Matters:
- 5.1.1. The NPF may represent Members in labour and employment matters, including but not limited to:
- 5.1.2. Conduct proceedings pursuant to Part IV of the RCMP Act;
- 5.1.3. Grievances alleging a breach of the collective agreement;
- 5.1.4. Security clearance and reliability status issues;
- 5.1.5. Public Complaints pursuant to Part VI or VII of the RCMP for which an investigation has been initiated;
- 5.1.6. Probationary discharges;
- 5.1.7. Administrative discharges and demotions; and
- 5.1.8. Applications to the Federal Court, Federal Court of Appeal, or the Supreme Court of Canada in matters related to the topics listed above
5.2. Statutory Proceedings
- 5.2.1 The Membership of the NPF benefit from the Treasury Board of Canada’s policy on Legal Assistance and Indemnification at Public Expense (“LAPE”). Due to that benefit, the NPF does not provide Representation to Members involved in statutory proceedings.
- 5.2.2. Under exceptional circumstances and in consideration of the factors set out in Section 4 of this Policy, the NPF may elect to provide representation to Members where LAPE has been denied. To be eligible for NPF representation, the Member must have (1) applied for LAPE, (2) been denied that application and (3) filed a grievance under Part III of the RCMP Act, with the NPF named as their representative in that grievance.
5.3. Grievances under Part III of the RCMP Act
- 5.3.1. The NPF will only provide procedural guidance to Members in the context of grievances submitted under Part III of the RCMP Act.
- 5.3.2. In consideration of the factors set out in Section 4 of this Policy, the NPF may elect to provide representation to a Member in the context of a Part III grievance under exceptional circumstances.
5.4. Civil Litigation
- 5.4.1. The NPF will only represent Members in the context of civil litigation actions in the most exceptional of cases. Participation and/or representation of Members in civil litigation will only be considered if/when all other means for redress have been explored and exhausted.
- 5.4.2. The NPF, in its sole discretion, may represent Members in civil litigation if all the following criteria are met:
- 188.8.131.52. Factors under section 4 of this Policy are considered and support NPF representation;
- 184.108.40.206. The civil litigation, on the advice of legal counsel and in the sole opinion of the Officers of the NPF, advances the collective interests of Members of the NPF;
- 220.127.116.11. The NPF legal department has undertaken an assessment of the file and has deemed that the civil litigation has a reasonable chance of success;
- 18.104.22.168. The defendants, respondents, or other named parties are not Members of the NPF; and
- 22.214.171.124. The costs of proceeding with the civil litigation are proportionate to the likely results and benefits (financial or otherwise) of the civil litigation.
6. Representation in Harassment
6.1. The primary responsibility for ensuring a workplace free from harassment rests with the Employer.
6.2. The NPF may provide procedural guidance to Members who have either filed a workplace harassment complaint through the RCMP harassment complaint process (the Principal Party) or are accused of harassment under this same process (the Responding Party). In consideration of the factors set out in Section 4 of this Policy, the NPF may provide representation to Members involved in the harassment complaint process under exceptional circumstances.
6.3. Workplace harassment issues may lead to other labour issues such as a distinct grievance or Code of Conduct proceedings. In such instances, the NPF may represent Members in accordance with section 5.1 of this Policy.
6.4. The NPF does not support or condone harassment in the workplace, but rather supports the creation of a workplace free from harassment. The NPF’s guidance or representation of Members accused of harassment does not mean that the NPF condones harassment in the workplace.
7. Issues for Which NPF will not Provide Representation
7.1. The NPF will not represent Members in matters such as (non-exhaustive list):
- 7.1.1. Employment insurance disputes;
- 7.1.2. Family-related civil issues such as divorce or probate of a will;
- 7.1.3. Members named as a respondent to a grievance filed under Part III of the RCMP Act; and,
- 7.1.4. Members who were the successful candidate in an appointment or promotion exercise whose result is being challenged by a Member.
- 7.1.5. Tax Court or a Canada Revenue Agency audit
8. Terms and Conditions of Representation
8.1. Members are expected to adhere to the Conduct and Right of Members Policy when receiving guidance or representation from the NPF. The principles of good conduct are essential to ensure respectful communication and fair representation.
8.2. The NPF may cease representing a Member under the following circumstances:
- 8.2.1. The Member is not cooperating with their representative or NPF retained external counsel. This includes, but is not limited to, the Member not responding to the representative in a timely fashion or the Member failing to provide documents/information to the representative;
- 8.2.2. The Member has breached the terms of the NPF bylaws;
- 8.2.3. The Member has breached the NPF policies on Member conduct and harassment, including if the Member harasses an NPF representative (including NPF retained counsel)
- 8.2.4. The Member lies, misleads, or conceals material facts from their representative;
- 8.2.5. The Member retains legal counsel, at their own expense, to represent them in respect of the matter without the consent of the NPF;
- 8.2.6. The Member does not accept the advice or recommendations of their representative or counsel;
- 8.2.7. The Member refuses an offer of settlement deemed reasonable by the NPF;
- 8.2.8. The NPF deems the likelihood of success of the Member’s matter as low
- 8.2.9. The NPF deems that representing the Member goes against the NPF’s fundamental interests.
8.3. 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.
8.4. Members are not entitled to choose their NPF representative and/or assigned counsel.
9. Grievance Carriage Rights
9.1. Individual or group Collective Agreement Grievances: The NPF brings forward grievances on behalf of individual Members and groups of Members who are adversely affected by a breach of the terms of the Collective Agreement. While the grievance may relate to a particular Member or group of Members, it is the NPF that carries the grievance.
Members seeking to file a grievance alleging a violation of the Collective Agreement must first obtain the approval of the NPF and must be represented by the NPF throughout the grievance resolution process, including adjudication.
9.2. Policy grievances under s. 220 of the Federal Public Sector Labour and Relations Act shall only be filed upon the approval of the President of the NPF.
10.1. Situations may arise where numerous individual Members of the NPF have competing interests in a particular proceeding. In these circumstances, where the NPF has deemed appropriate to provide representation to all Members involved, the NPF will designate separate representatives for each Member. Those files will be designated as “conflict” files. NPF representatives will not discuss the representation and/or advice provided to Members with each other and will ensure that confidentiality is maintained at all times.
10.2. “Conflict files” will also be protected from being accessed 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 all Members in conflict.
11.1. Should a Member of the NPF disagree with the advice, strategy, and/or decision they are provided by their representative, the individuals involved should first attempt to resolve their differences of opinion through a thorough and amicable discussion.
11.2. Should the NPF decline to represent a Member in a particular matter, or decline to follow the Member’s preferred strategy, the Member is entitled to receive written confirmation of that decision along with a written rationale for the representative’s decision.
11.3. The Member of the NPF may appeal said the decision to the President of the NPF. To do so, the Member must:
- 11.3.1. Write to the President of the NPF within 14 days of the decision detailing the appealed decision as well as the Member’s rationale as to why it ought to be reconsidered.
Note: If the internal appeal concerns the NPF’s refusal to provide representation, we encourage Members to refer and rely on factors listed within section 4 of this Policy. Documents that are relevant to the appeal and which have not already been provided to the NPF should be forwarded at this time.
- 11.3.2. Upon receipt of the internal appeal, the President will initiate an internal review and render a final decision on the matter.
- 11.3.3. The President or his/her representative will communicate their final decision to the Member as well as all NPF representatives involved. The President’s decision will be final and binding.
11.4 If the NPF denies or withdraws representation, and the Member appeals the NPF’s decision under this Policy, the Member is wholly responsible for the protection of any applicable deadlines (such as appeal deadlines) that may expire during the above appeal process.
12. Communication and Attendance
12.1. Members are reminded to use their personal e-mail addresses when corresponding with their NPF representative and/or assigned external legal counsel.
12.2. Members may attend their grievance hearings and other administrative processes. Attendance may be in person, by telephone or by videoconference, at the NPF’s sole 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.
12.3. 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 sole discretion. The NPF must pre-approve travel expenses. The travel expenses are to be provided in accordance with the NPF’s travel expense policies and guidelines, as amended from time to time. These policies and guidelines will be made available to Members upon request.