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A special mediator has been appointed to look for a solution to the job action by emergency dispatchers in the Vancouver area, members of CUPE Local 873. The predominantly female workers at E-Comm, the 911 centre serving communities in the Lower Mainland, earn significantly less than their male counterparts in other emergency services and have been working to rule since September.

As mediation began, local president John Strohmaier warned that the union was prepared to escalate strike action if these serious inequities are not resolved.

Meena Cheema, chairperson of emergency dispatchers said, Understaffing, lack of training, excessive overtime and equipment failures seriously jeopardize not only public safety, but the health of emergency dispatchers. A failure to address these deficiencies quickly will necessitate increased job action by CUPE Local 873.