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

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky Nimpkish ferry sailing

The ferry docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Heiltsuk Nation calls probe into arrest of Indigenous man at bank ‘woefully inadequate’

Maxwell Johnson and his 12-year-old granddaughter had been at a Bank of Montreal branch in Vancouver on Dec. 20

Indigenous athletes invited to apply for Team BC

The Games will be the largest multi-sport event ever held in Halifax

WATCH: Powerlifting Competition returns to Williams Lake for the first time in decades

Nine competitors took part in the Cariboo Classic Amateur Powerlifting Competition

VIDEO: Cold snap brings ideal conditions for Okanagan icewine

Take an inside look at how icewine is made

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Calls for dialogue as Coastal GasLink pipeline polarizes some in northern B.C.

Coastal GasLink is building the 670-kilometre pipeline from British Columbia’s northeast to Kitimat on the coast

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Most Read