The Toronto Police Pensioners Association evolved from the creation of the Toronto Police Force first established in 1835, slow to say the least granting any form of recognition to the men it employed, it took a long time indeed before the powers that be in the world of politics came to their senses in the treatment of those they employed to enforce their laws.
Alas, even Sir Robert Peel with his Nine Principles of Policing proclaimed over 150 years ago and still the guiding light of policing today, did nothing much for the man on the beat or his family. A policeman's lot was not a happy one and refusal to recognize their pay and working conditions lead to the great strikes of 1918-1920 that spread to the major cities in Canada and the US. The strike continued for much longer than anyone dared to imagine causing one prominent politician to remark that anarchy was about the land and bolshevism about to take over, troubling times for everyone, eventually settled with the understanding, police officers needed someone to represent their interests. But they could not be unionized, horrified at the thought those they had hired to enforce their laws, upholders of the peace, common constables at law, independent agents of the crown, could make this a regular occurrence, a compromise was reached, they were allowed to form an Association if they gave up the right to strike.
While salaries and working conditions started to improve, pensions continued to take a back seat in any negotiations.As recently as 1946, anyone resigning from the Toronto Force for any reason, regardless of age or years of service, did not receive their contributions back. It was not until 1987 and 1990 when several remaining officers who were still alive came forward to the Association for help and their contributions with interest were finally refunded.
The pension at retirement was always and unknown factor, calculated on a base year and dependent on how far back the base year was when you retired. A cost of living increase to your pension was unheard of and the cause of a civil action against the Police Association, the Board of Commissioners of Police and the Trustees of the Benefit Fund. The court action was instituted by two pensioners, Joe Thurston and Aubrey Potter on behalf of all pensioners because 10 and 12% inflation every year had reduced their pensions to a mere pittance. The action was withdrawn in 1981 after the fund produced a surplus from stock market gains and high interest rates. From that point on, until 2004, pensioners in the five pre-Omers pension plans received regular cost of living pension increases.
The Association has been serving the needs of retired members since 1933 when the active members of the former Toronto Police Pension Plan realized the need, and had the foresight to put in place, a vehicle to look after the interests of pensioners on retirement. Since that time the Pensioners Association has played many active roles in not only looking after the interests of pensioners after retirement but also looking after the interests of the active members prior to retirement.
Welcomed by management, the meetings were first held inside the confines of a police station, old # 6 station at Queen and Cowan, moved later to the staff house adjacent to the then new police headquarters at 590 Jarvis St and now held and housed, sharing the same office as the Toronto Police Military Veterans Association on the 2nd floor of the Toronto Police Association building at 180 Yorkland Blvd.
In January 2014, our membership voted to accept changes to our Consititution which help update our organization's mandate. These changes include our new name Toronto Police Pensioners Association.