The city says Montreal police handed out fewer tickets this summer, and it wants the police union to pay up.

Even before the city filed its official grievance, the police union said it had received an email indicating City Hall was taking steps with the Labour Relations Board.

The city claims there's been a drastic drop in the number of tickets given out since June, but hasn’t provided any numbers to back up their claims.

It has filed a grievance with the board in hopes of recovering the money it says has been lost.

For its part, the union, which has admitted in the past that police officers are given ticket quotas, said officers were never instructed to hand out fewer tickets.

But union leader Yves Francoeur said it's possible fewer tickets were given out because more officers have been assigned to direct traffic at construction sites.

“The time they are at those intersections, for sure they can't give tickets. So that's why we're not afraid. We have a very good case,” he said.

Francoeur also said the need to give out tickets is decreasing.

“The statistics on traffic and accidents are going better and better, so it only proves one thing: the most important thing for the city is not the security of drivers and pedestrians. That's a question of money. They only want money.”

But Mayor Denis Coderre says that assertion is not true.

“We felt that's a matter of labour relations. We have a process. We believe in the rule of law,” he said, adding that they will present their case to the Labour Relations Board and let them make the final decision.

Francoeur said the ongoing squabbling between officers and City Hall, along with the impending pension reform being pushed by the provincial government, is breaking the morale of senior officers.

"Right now we have officers who have 16 and 17 years of experience and what they say, they're so fed up with the city that they are just doing their time," he said.

"So it's very important when you're a police officer to believe in what you do, and right now there's a lack of confidence."