National COVID-19 Update – Team RCMP – June 16, 2020

Commissioner's broadcast sent June 16, 2020

One of the things that this week has brought out clearly is the importance of conversations. There are a number of conversations going on around us, including some very difficult ones, and we need to engage in them, as individuals, as an organization and as a society.

For the RCMP, people are at the centre of everything we do. People are our reason to exist – we are here to protect them and their property from crime. People are also the backbone and strength of our organization - we are nothing without all of you, who bring your expertise, experience and dedication to work with you every day.

One of the things we are talking about is how and when we will return to our workplaces, and what opportunities and obstacles lie in front of us. As I have said before, you can expect the return to be gradual and cautious, and we will not start until we have measures in place to do it safely. We've made it this far – we're not going to undo the incredible work we have done to stay healthy and deliver on our mandate by rushing back.

Last week, the Senior Executive Committee, in consultation with your Commanding Officers, approved a set of national standards and guidelines that will help Divisions and business lines plan the gradual re-opening of our buildings and facilities. There are plans being developed for the resumption of many different activities and functions, from boat and ATV training to building operations and food services. We have already received and are moving plans for priority activities like Annual Firearms Qualification, carbine training, and Emergency Response Team training through approvals. As each type of plan is approved, it will be shared with the other Divisions so they can save time and effort by adapting them to their own needs.

We understand that Provinces and Territories are opening up at different times and different speeds. But we are Canada's national police service, and we have an obligation to maintain a standard that ensures we are ready and able to do our work for all Canadians.

We have developed an employee questionnaire to be used by managers and supervisors as a guide for conversations with your teams about re-entry into our workplaces. Everyone is facing different circumstances, and this is a way of ensuring we're aware of everyone's limitations and restrictions, and that we're not overlooking good opportunities. Not everyone needs to come back to an office environment. Not everyone can work from home. This isn't a simple survey to be checked off and sent in. Talk to your people, listen to them, understand their situation and work with them to keep everyone as productive as they can possibly be. The questionnaire is circulating now and if you haven't received it already, it should be coming to you soon.

The strain of COVID-19 and the other sensitive issues that we are facing can also bring tensions and conflicts in our workplace to the surface. We should all pay attention to whether conflict may be developing, between ourselves and others, or among those around us. A degree of conflict in the workplace is an everyday fact of life, but if it remains unresolved, it can very quickly escalate and start to seriously affect both those involved and others around them.

I have urged all of you to help each other maintain our high standards of conduct by speaking up if you see something that isn't right. But sometimes we need help knowing what to do about it. Whether you're an employee, a supervisor or manager, you have access to our Informal Conflict Management (ICM) practitioners, who can help with conflict coaching, mediation, facilitated discussions or even group interventions. The program is completely voluntary, informal, and of course confidential.

These are challenging times, and they're forcing us to look at ourselves, and how we work from many different angles. Have the conversations: talk to each other, listen to each other, and be open to what you're hearing.

Change is both necessary and inevitable, but it is an opportunity. Working together, let's use it to make our great organization even better.

Brenda Lucki

Stay informed

Please review the national COVID-19 Infoweb site – we are adding new information every day. I urge managers to review these sources daily and ensure that you share them with your teams.

For those without access to the Infoweb or ROSS e-mail (including families):

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