$1.16 Billion Toronto Police Budget Will Continue to Burgeon to 2018

Update:

Toronto City Hall. Earlier this year, Tory and the seven-member police board signed off on a contract that gives officers wage increases of 2.75 per cent this year, 1.95 per cent next year, 1.9 per cent in 2017 and 1.75 per cent in 2018. That follows two previous contracts that bumped pay in excess of 20 per cent over seven years.
Toronto City Hall. Earlier this year, Mayor John Tory and the seven-member police board signed off on a contract that gives officers wage increases of 2.75 per cent this year, 1.95 per cent next year, 1.9 per cent in 2017 and 1.75 per cent in 2018.
That follows two previous contracts that bumped pay in excess of 20 per cent over seven (7) years – an average raise of 2.86% per year, over seven (7) years, which will boost the base salary of a first-class constable to $98,450 by 2018.

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Other City of Toronto departments urged to find 2 per cent in savings.

Mayor John Tory has acknowledged Toronto’s billion-dollar police budget is set to rise — again — despite asking all city agencies and divisions to find at least 2 per cent in budget savings.

“They (Toronto Police Service) have been working away at trying to make sure the increase is as modest as it can be,” Tory said Friday.

The police budget is 90 per cent made up of salaries negotiated in a collective agreement “so it complicates it in terms of leaving you less leeway,” the mayor said.

Earlier this year, Tory and the seven-member police board signed off on a contract that gives officers wage increases of 2.75 per cent this year, 1.95 per cent next year, 1.9 per cent in 2017 and 1.75 per cent in 2018.

That follows two previous contracts that bumped pay in excess of 20 per cent over seven years.

In 2014, 4,125 of the service’s 7,800 uniform and civilian employees earned more than $100,000. That means that 52.88% of the force earned more than $100,000 in 2014. This year’s police budget grew to $1.16 billion. Property taxes collected amount to $957 million. By 2019 most of the force, excluding the civilians, will be placed on the Provincial Sunshine List.
In 2014, 4,125 of the service’s 7,800 uniform and civilian employees earned more than $100,000. That means that 52.88% of the force earned more than $100,000 in 2014. This year’s police budget grew to $1.16 billion. Property taxes collected amount to $957 million. By 2019 most of the force, excluding the civilian employees, will be placed on the Provincial Sunshine List.

This year’s police budget grew to $1.16 billion but included $64 million in additional provincial funding to cover security costs for the Pan Am Games in July. Property taxes paid for $957 million

Toronto police meet in front of the Rogers Centre before the opening ceremony for the Pan Am Games in July. Security for the games was budgeted at $64 million.
Toronto police meet behind the Rogers Centre before the opening ceremony for the Pan Am Games on July 10, 2015. Security for the games was budgeted at $64 million.

The recent contract — which will boost the base salary of a first-class constable to $98,450 by 2018 — will cost Toronto taxpayers an extra $65 million over four years. Last year, 4,125 of the service’s 7,800 uniform and civilian employees earned more than $100,000.

The mayor has said the new deal “sends a message” of restraint to everyone in the public sector.

In June, he wrote to the city’s budget committee outlining his priorities for the 2016 budget, which includes holding property tax increases to the rate of inflation or below.

He also called on all city agencies and divisions to “find at least” 2 per cent in savings. “We need to take a determined, practical, business-like approach to eliminate the inefficiency marbled throughout government,” he wrote.

After a fractious labour dispute in 2005, the two sides also agreed to create a joint committee to “study” the shift schedule. This time, the board said the issue will go to an arbitrator if no headway is made.
After a fractious labour dispute in 2005, the two sides also agreed to create a joint committee to “study” the shift schedule. This time, the board said the issue will go to an arbitrator if no headway is made.

Police brass will present the service’s budgetary requests for 2016 to the board Monday amid criticism that details weren’t released in advance, as is customary.

“We believe the public has a right to see the budget before it is considered and approved by the board,” the Toronto Police Accountability Coalition wrote in a letter.

“To approve budgets which have not been made available for public comment would be a substantial dereliction of duty.”

The police board approves the service’s spending request before it goes before city council. However, as TPAC notes, the Police Services Act prohibits council from making any changes to items within the budget: “that function is entirely in the control of the board,” the police watchdog group states in a letter written by former Toronto mayor John Sewell.

TPAC is calling on the board to immediately post the chief’s budgets on the board’s web site.

Adding to budgetary pressures is the fact fewer officers are leaving than the force anticipated. Uniform staffing levels at year-end 2014 were higher than assumed at the time of the service prepared its 2015 budget request, resulting in “continuing annualized salary costs.”

“Actual separations to the end of May 2015 are also less than had been estimated. At this time, the Service is projecting 150 separations for the year, compared to the 180 included in the 2015 budget,” the TPS said in their 2015 budget submissions.

Toronto Police Headquarters. The police board approves the service’s spending request before it goes before city council. However, as TPAC notes, the Police Services Act prohibits council from making any changes to items within the budget: “that function is entirely in the control of the board,” the police watchdog group states in a letter written by former Toronto mayor John Sewell.
Toronto Police Headquarters. The police board approves the service’s spending request before it goes before city council. However, as TPAC notes, the Police Services Act prohibits council from making any changes to items within the budget: “that function is entirely in the control of the board,” the police watchdog group states in a letter written by former Toronto mayor John Sewell.
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