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

Ladysmith fabric designer donates her time to make free face masks and gowns

Nikki MacCallum works three days a week on masks and gowns, and three days on her regular business

LDCU offers no interest loans for members in need

Existing members can borrow up to $5,000 interest free

Sweet treat helps make Chemainus Health Care Centre workers feel complete

Girl Guide cookies always in good taste when showing appreciation

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

Ongoing list of Ladysmith COVID-19 cancellations and closures

Everything in Ladysmith that has been impacted by COVID-19

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

High cost, limited coverage for asthma medicine a concern during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. man says he skips puffs to save money, but others have it worse

Vancouver Island’s ‘Project Draw Breath’ expands and diversifies to battle pandemic

Grassroots team working to up supplies of ventilators, other equipment during COVID-19 crisis

B.C. man sick with COVID-19 calls it a ‘horrible disease’

Tim Green says he has ‘extreme coughing fits every hour’ to clear his lungs

Trudeau says Parliament needs to sit to pass expanded COVID-19 benefits

Wage subsidy program has been greatly expanded since it was first approved

UPDATE: Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Liberals delay release of 75% wage subsidy details, costs: Morneau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Most Read