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VANCOUVER Emergency dispatchers at E-Comm are disappointed at an industrial inquiry report released today because it does not address the huge pay equity gap at the Lower Mainland call centre.

Systemic discrimination against female emergency dispatchers will continue at E-Comm, said Meena Cheema, spokesperson for Local 873. Inquiry commissioner Stan Lanyon had the power to do a full investigation into the pay and duties of all dispatchers and failed to do so.

This will not resolve the pay equity problem since dispatchers under other collective agreements will renegotiate their wages in 2003.

Lanyons report says that dispatchers will receive an almost 21 per cent wage increase over five years. This is misleading and inaccurate, Cheema said. They are forcing us to work a longer day and call it a pay raise.

The report gives E-Comm much greater flexibility to force dispatchers to work at any time. This will undermine the stability of a set work schedule.

We used to have our work scheduled one year in advance, Cheema said. This report leaves our hours of work wide open to abuse by the employer. Our personal lives and our job performance are adversely affected by this recommendation.

E-Comm has not earned this report and the flexibility that it gives them, Cheema added. They have not earned the respect of the people who do the work of keeping the public safe. It is their dedication and professionalism that has carried E-Comm for the last two years.

The dispatchers have been on strike for more than a year. They have been without a contract for almost two years.

CUPE members at E-Comm showed great courage in their strike. They fought for pay equity in the face of an essential services order that made achieving a fair collective agreement almost impossible, said CUPE BC President Barry ONeill.

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Contact: Meena Cheema, CUPE Local 873 spokesperson, 604-722-4611.