FILE – Heather Andrews, employee at E-Comm. (E-Comm handout)

Talks break down between B.C.’s 911 operators, E-Comm but no job action planned

Mediated talks broke down Friday between union, employer

The union representing 911 operators across British Columbia says mediated talks broke down Friday with their employer, E-Comm.

CUPE Local 873-02, the union representing emergency dispatchers and support staff, says E-Comm has been unwilling to address low wages, cost of living, overtime, missed breaks, poor working conditions, burnout and high attrition.

Unit Chair Matthew Bordewick says it became apparent during bargaining that E-Comm is “desperately underfunded” and clearly lacks the resources to deliver a critical public service.

E-Comm, which handles approximately 99 per cent of 911 calls in B.C., did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ALSO READ: Fast-food restaurant being closed, lost jacket top worst 911 calls

He says chronic underfunding by E-Comm has led to unacceptable wait times for both emergency and non-emergency calls and as a result, E-Comm has been consistently unable to meet its targets for calls answered and times to dispatch.

Bordewick says the union and employer will now shift their focus to addressing essential service levels and the union will not be considering job action until those levels have been established by the Labour Board.

“We will continue to provide the excellent public service we have always delivered, but we will also be mobilizing our members to draw attention to the lack of funding to this organization and the impact it has on the lives and mental health of our members,” adds Bordewick in a statement.

“E-Comm employees have a role to play in helping this employer address the structural challenges at E-Comm. We’re part of the solution, but our members also deserve a fair contract.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

City hall, RCMP getting complaints about lack of physical distancing

So far, there’s no public health order to enforce the safety measure

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Uplands Elementary students get chance to wave at teachers

Students haven’t seen teachers in nearly 3 weeks

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on sport fishing licenses to out-of-province fishers

Bachrach and Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns co-signed the letter to the Minister of Fisheries

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

How to cope with your mental health during a global pandemic

Becca Shears, clinical counsellor in Vanderhoof speaks about ways to deal with stress and anxiety during this time.

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

Most Read