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AN OPEN HAND WITH AN AXE IN THE OTHER? Reply to a letter by Commissioner Paulson

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Re: AN OPEN HAND WITH AN AXE IN THE OTHER? Reply to a letter by Commissioner Paulson

Post by Whisky45 on Wed 27 Mar 2013, 10:41

Dear Horseman thanks for your input. Winston Churchill stated and I quote "Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely" The RCMP have forgotten their military tradition long ago and being x military myself the first priority with in the military philosophy is that the troops come first before any NCO or officer rests. The priority is to take care of the main body of a military organization which in the RCMP case being para military are the men and women who do the job on the streets day in day out 24/7. There is a huge disconnect between the management and the rank and
file which is a result of some morons idea to inject the idea of adapting a corporate philosophy into a para military organization such as the RCMP. So the mindset these days is "What do I get out of it" There are RCMP officers, NCOs and Commissioned officers that do not have a clue about the very honorable history of the RCMP and its predecessors, the NWMP and the RNWMP in regards to the sacrifice made in the protection of our society within the British Commonwealth. This is a huge mistake in forgetting the RCMP history because it is that history that defines what the RCMP is today. To forget is to dishonor those that have fallen on the streets of this country, on United Nations Missions and on the battlefields of past
military conflicts is uncompromisable. It is this void that leaves the RCMP without a sense of honor and respect towards the members who continue to sacrifice and die for this country.
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Whisky45
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Re: AN OPEN HAND WITH AN AXE IN THE OTHER? Reply to a letter by Commissioner Paulson

Post by Horseman on Mon 25 Mar 2013, 14:15

Hello Whiskey45
The Commissioner has the last say but not the first say when a member is ODS with PTSD. The expression, power corrupts is an apt description of those leadership-challenged personalities who forgo objectivity and understanding for their own selfish benefit. The RCMP system of leadership progression is seriously flawed and you will find no solace at the top considering most arrived their by on a one-way, first class seats on a good guys limousine. I wrote a paper on the promotional system about 12 years ago and suggested that there is no need for corporals and sergeants looking after corporals and staff sergeants looking after sergeants and Inspectors etc looking after themselves. The culture will never be changed from within the organization until the current system is modified. We cannot expect a Commissioner to go back down the hill he just climbed and knock of all of his/her friends. The battle of words continues in perpetuity up and down a very crowded unrelenting conduit of despair and disinterest.

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Re: AN OPEN HAND WITH AN AXE IN THE OTHER? Reply to a letter by Commissioner Paulson

Post by Whisky45 on Tue 19 Mar 2013, 09:49

Thanks Rags I am and continue to stand the line with these clowns. What part of willful negligence in dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that is killing RCMP officers does Commissioner Paulson and his boss Harper not understand. Thanks for your words of support brother.
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Whisky45
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Re: AN OPEN HAND WITH AN AXE IN THE OTHER? Reply to a letter by Commissioner Paulson

Post by Rags on Sun 17 Mar 2013, 12:28

I feel your pain and frustration brother. The RCMP is following our same poor example of how we dealt with the issue of PTSD. Im shocked they did not just learn a lesson from our command failure.

Stay tough long fight for you guys....you will win i the end.

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AN OPEN HAND WITH AN AXE IN THE OTHER? Reply to a letter by Commissioner Paulson

Post by Whisky45 on Tue 12 Mar 2013, 20:00

The RCMP ACCOUNTABILITY ACT a.k.a. BILL C-42 "THE AXE ACT"

Subject: Members Off-Duty Sick / Membres en congé de maladie
(le français suit)

Comm. P
“In the coming days, you may hear stories about the administrative
discharge of members who have been off-duty sick (ODS) for a prolonged period. The spin may be that the RCMP is “firing” employees who are ODS long-term with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after making a harassment complaint for example.

Let me assure you that this is not the case.

I have heard from you loud and clear that prolonged absences from the work place affect everyone. Regular members have asked for management to be accountable and to hold members accountable.

Our priority is to ensure employees remain at work. But the reality is that there may be times when an employee takes extended leave for health reasons beyond their control. When this happens, the RCMP has programs and services in place to support them.”

Commissioner Paulson’s states “I have heard from you loud and clear that prolonged absences from the workplace affect everyone” that “REGULAR MEMBERS HAVE ASKED FOR MANAGEMENT TO BE ACCOUNTABLE AND TO HOLD MEMBERS ACCOUNTABLE” . My first question is which regular members? Does he mean officers in charge of the Divisions across Canada? Their subordinate officers? Those that tow the party line in Ottawa? Who exactly are these regular members? Those that strap on the 9.MM every day and go on shift???? Is this feedback from lower management and up? What regular member does the Commissioner refer to??

I ask why are there RCMP officers off duty sick for long periods of time in the first place? If an RCMP officer is affected with a serious case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosed or undiagnosed what are their options??? With the reinforced culture of denial now reinforced by fear under the new Commissioner’s powers, which is really intimidating If you think about it, there are two categories an RCMP officer with PTSD can fall into, one having been diagnosed with PTSD and is off duty sick for a long period of time and the other the member that remains on duty in denial until the ultimate meltdown and potentially more negative publicity towards the RCMP as a whole and ends up off duty and ODS for a long period of time as well.

Being damaged goods what are the options from those injured members point of view, for example one who is junior in service, married with kids, the sole bread winner and has the family to feed and a mortgage to pay? The obvious route to take is long term ODS and dig your heels in for as long as you can. Why? Commissioner Paulson stated their are services and programs in place to help those injured members dealing with PTSD. Well there is no more MEAP and now the cost effective solution by the RCMP management is a 1800 number to for and RCMP officer to get help if in crisis and melting down. Who is on the other end of the line? No one is going to trust a voice on the other end of the phone line they have never met and will not chance losing their job.

One has to ask are there enough jobs to for the RCMP management to accommodate injured RCMP officers with PTSD who need time to recover or have jobs available when they have recovered enough? With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder it can take a number of years.

Commissioner Paulson and his follower’s position and I quote “Our priority is to ensure employees remain at work”. Well with the fear of losing your job, family etc. and an axe hanging over your head if you get diagnosed with PTSD I can imagine the increasing number of melt downs that are going to occur not to forget suicides. With a serious case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder you brain will tell you when you have had enough. No choice you will melt down. It happened to me and the good Commissioner does not get this or does not want to get this.

The part missing here is when you are forced out of the door there are no programs in place for an RCMP officer for a second start in life. If a member does not have pensionable service in particularly low in service, that RCMP officer and family will be on their own in poverty, especially when the member is deemed unemployable due to sever PTSD. I can tell you from personal experience being shown the door while seriously injured with PTSD and unemployable that there are no programs in place for a disabled RCMP veteran to get a second chance in life nothing at all. The Canadian Military have the programs under the New Veterans Charter for this reason for former military to get a second start in life. Harper and Commissioner Paulson could care less. That is why the majority of members on long term ODS do just that dig their heels in and wait it out so they can survive and support their families and pay mortgages. Some come back to work on reduced work hours but that axe still hangs over their heads. Don’t think that its not there waiting because it is. The man with the axe said it himself and I quote

Comm. P
“However, it is only when a member has a condition that permanently impedes them from returning to work, and they cannot be accommodated without causing undue hardship, that they would be administratively discharged. “

So what is the criteria for being designated not being able to go back to work and CAN NOT BE ACCOMMODATED which is the real devil in the details. Budget cutbacks, cut jobs equates to a very convenient way to get punted out the door. The “sorry can’t accommodate you with a job” stamp ends up on your medical discharge and with no programs in place for you to get a second start in life you are on your own and screwed. RCMP officers have become disposable people. How else would a bean counters think?

Its up to the RCMP MANAGEMENT to buy into these programs both in the RCMP and for the Veterans trying to survive out in civilian life. like the Occupational Stress Injury Social Support program (peer support) funded by the Canadian Military and VAC. The program helps stabilize those with PTSD by getting those that are isolated to socialize at OSISS group meetings. What RCMP officers getting together at OSISS meeting and veterans they would talk and who knows what would happen?

Right now every RCMP officer diagnosed with PTSD and other Occupational Stress Injuries are in fact in isolation which is the worst thing that can happen to an officer struggling with PTSD. Suicide is a very real possibility and I know from personal experience that OSISS prevents unnecessary suicides. The RCMP Occupational Health and Safety Branch studied OSISS in 2006 and 2010 and filed detailed reports stating that the RCMP membership need the OSISS program.

Why did the RCMP management not buy into the OSISS program simply because it will open the door to the thousands of undiagnosed RCMP veterans who would flood VAC with disability claims and the Harper Government wants to keep that sleeping giant asleep considering the tens of millions of dollars is will cost to honour these claims. RCMP members have become disposable people if you think about it. Get injured on duty, lose your job then they just get a new one. Very counterproductive considering the cost of training an officer over the years. The solution rests with the very reluctant Harper Government and Commissioner Paulson who as the leader of the Mounted Police tows a political line and has chose to forget his primary responsibility and that is to the men women out there on the streets of Canada and on mission who are the RCMP and under his charge. Who is standing up for them and there right for the proper support programs in the workplace to deal with critical incidents that end up with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The politically compromised Commissioner Paulson and this Conservative Government could care less for those members who have served Canada both here and abroad and sacrificed to protect Canadians and their way of life. Has the Social Contract with Military and RCMP been conveniently forgotten by the Harper bean counters so as to fill the public coffers with play money??? Whatever happened to Prime Minister Harper’s Parliamentary secretary mouthpiece who allegedly falsified work related expense forms not to forget the 16 dollar orange juice by a Conservative member of parliament who insisted on changing hotels to the London Savoy Hilton? The Conservative government continues to gut the RCMP budget, refuses to support the RCMP members, disabled RCMP veterans and their families by not providing funding for programs such as the Occupational Injury Social Support Program that provides peers support to both serving RCMP officers and Veterans and families of both.

I ask Commissioner Paulson are the RCMP officers under your watch not worth the investment if it can prevent unnecessary suicides and I hear about a lot of them from those that contact me.

Comm. P
“When a member is ODS, RCMP Return to Work Facilitators, Commanders, Health Services Officers, Disability Case Managers and the Career Development and Resourcing Advisors work in an integrated manner with the objective of bringing the member back to work. There is an obligation, however, for the member to participate in the process and assist in identifying their restrictions/limitations so that suitable workplace accommodations can be made.”

With the stated increased culture of fear and denial about PTSD instituted by Commissioner Paulson, the only reality will be no RCMP member coming forward for help dealing with PTSD because of fear of losing their jobs and not being able to support their families and keep a roof over their heads. PTSD is being effectively pushed underground until an RCMP member melts down and or commits suicide. I have heard that management is an art and its really being used effectively in this case.

I challenge the good Commissioner Paulson to contact the New York Police Department and ask how successful their POPPA peer support program is doing which is a mirror image of the Occupational Stress Injury Social Support program the Harper Government refuses to fund and the RCMP Commissioner refuses to fight for. I recently spoke to an NYPD Sergeant who praises their peer support program which was a wise investment in the real asset of the NYPD, their officers working the streets of New York. Does Commissioner Paulson agree that the RCMP members are the most important asset in the RCMP????

Comm. P
“When members are ODS for a prolonged period of time, it causes a ripple effect by leaving the RCMP unable to permanently staff the positions. This impacts workplace stability and puts an extra burden on our remaining members.”

Ripple effect?? In reality it means the extra burden on what is left of the RCMP officers on duty as a result of extreme budget cuts by the Conservative Government who are not providing funding to increase long overdue manpower increases causing RCMP officers to do more with less manpower at what counterproductive cost to them, burn out, stress, metal health issues such as PTSD ending up ODS for long periods of time?

Comm. P
“However, it is only when a member has a condition that permanently impedes them from returning to work, and they cannot be accommodated without causing undue hardship, that they would be administratively discharged. At this point, members are provided a number of disability benefits and services from Veterans Affairs Canada when their medical conditions are duty-related.”

As previously stated there are no, repeat are no programs in place for an injured RCMP officer who can no longer do police work to get a second start in life once shown the door and left on the side of the road with their families to fend for themselves.
As stated the Canadian Military have invested in programs and support services under the New Veterans Charter to assist them in getting that second start in life. Financial assistance in the form of earnings loss is available and if a military veteran can not take advantage of paid schooling his or her spouse may go in the veterans place paid for by federal funds.
For the Commissioner to say that VAC provides a number of disability benefits and services (that is going to make life all warm and fuzzy) is a misconception. Its the RCMP management that pays for the limited benefits and services administered through Veterans Affairs Canada.

The military by far have better coverage under VAC which is paid for by the Canadian military which includes the OSISS program. They have earnings loss benefits, paid education, vocational assistance, helmets to hard hats program etc. I would challenge Commissioner Paulson to tell me what wonderful programs the RCMP have invested into for the disabled and elderly RCMP veterans? An example of deaf ears by RCMP management is the fact that the RCMP Veterans have been fighting to get the Veterans Independence program for the past 12 years which has been around since 1982. The Canadian Military veterans have always had VIP.

Why the reluctance for the RCMP management to buy into the VIP program? The answer is simple, because the Veterans Independence Program has the word Veteran in it and by funding the VIP program for the RCMP veterans would go against the present Conservative governments addenda to bury the proud military history of the RCMP and its predecessors and to civilianize a once proud paramilitary organization . On the VAC web site it states Canadian Military, Veterans and RCMP. When did the RCMP stop being veterans? I would like to ask that question to those still living members of the Number One Provost Company RCMP who fought in World War II that are still with us today.

I want to emphasize there are no programs for seriously injured RCMP officers who can no longer do police work when ADMINISTRATIVELY PUNTED OUT THE DOOR. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN and have the wonderful privilege to deal with the VAC Veterans Review and Appeal Board pushing one big rock up a hill. Like many I have and am living this reality.

Comm. P
“Whether you're a manager in an office or an officer on the front line, I encourage all members to familiarize themselves with their rights and responsibilities as defined in the Sick Leave (AM 19.3) and Return to Work (AM II-37) policies. If you get sick or injured as a result of your job, we will look after you.”

“We will look after you” is a loaded statement. A warm hand of support with an Axe in the other?

Commissioner Paulson wants all members of the RCMP to be aware of the Sick Leave Policy and Return to Work Policies simply to reinforce to the RCMP membership that coming forward with a life altering injury like PTSD is not a good idea because policy is emplace to get rid of you and any RCMP officer will think twice before phoning the medical assistance 1-800 number which does not have a speck of credibility. OSISS however does. This is an intimidating statement and encourages the culture of denial even more so. The term “MANAGEMENT BY CRISIS” has and will be common place with the RCMP management in dealing with the negative publicity the RCMP will continue to face while the RCMP management continue to bury their heads in the sand. How many preventable suicides will occur under this draconian turn of the century mentality in knowing that PTSD exists but will not do anything about it.

I applauded the City of New York’s municipal government in funding the POPPA program in support of their 40,000 officers enforcing the law in their city recognizing that PTSD is a real reality in Policing. They care about the well being of their officers.

Comm. P
“There may be a select few RCMP employees who have been ODS long-term and choose to be vocal about their case; I ask that you keep in mind that they can be selective about the details they put forward. Often, knowing the full story can provide an entirely different perspective.”

“Often knowing the full story can provide an entirely different perspective” is an understatement when knowing that the new attitude of if its broken get rid of it and get a new one is now the reality RCMP officers face. I say to Commissioner Paulson the term “entirely different perspective” is a two edged sword.

Comm. P
The RCMP has an obligation to both our officers who rely on each other for support and backup, and the Canadians who pay our salaries, to manage our workforce responsibly and be good stewards of public funds. “Accordingly, I have decided to move to limit the accumulation of annual leave for members who are ODS long-term with a non-work related illness or injury.”

Well if Commissioner Paulson really cared he would stand up for the men and women out there on the streets of this country protecting society by providing seriously funded critical incident support programs, peer support programs like OSISS and any other programs that can reduce the impact critical incidents have on RCMP officers not to forget increasing manpower which is long overdue.

Would investing in the well being and mental health of the human beings that make up the RCMP not a good idea? The last report authored by an Assistant Commissioner in 2010 from Occupational Health and Safety recommended the OSISS program along with numerous other recommendations was titled “Healthy Members Healthy Workplace” . Of course budget cuts and political interference swept that important document down the drain.

Leadership means that the number one priority is the well being and support of the RCMP officers under Commissioner Paulson’s watch especially those on the streets doing the job. Right now Commissioner Paulson’s priority is to tow the Conservative political rope. He got the job for a reason.

Comm. P
“While we can -- and will -- make all reasonable efforts to accommodate our members’ healthy return to work; we cannot, in good conscience, continue to pay a full salary indefinitely to an employee whose health prevents them from performing duties within the RCMP.


To invest in the right critical incident, peer support programs at the onset would in fact diminish the amount of members off duty sick. When an officer has been subject to a serious critical incident and given support right away again at the onset, it is a fact that the affects of PTSD can be substantially reduced and that officer remaining on the job. With the reduced manpower, gutted RCMP budgets the present situation is nothing less than a viscous circle and the sad thing about it all is that no one has the backs of the men and women doing front line police work not even Commissioner Paulson.

“Keep up the good work” with the far to few officers there are? If you burn out there is a plan now in place called Bill C-42 to help you on your way and you will be on your own really on your own. Keep up the good work Mr. Commissioner you will be an ambassador one day.

Comm. P
Keep up the great work, stay safe.”

Bob Paulson
Commissioner

Eric Rebiere (Former Cst. 37515 RCMP LSGC and Military Veteran)
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Whisky45
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Re: AN OPEN HAND WITH AN AXE IN THE OTHER? Reply to a letter by Commissioner Paulson

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