CUPE 8911 911 dispatchers at workEmergency Communications Professionals of BC, represented by CUPE 8911, have ratified a new three-year collective agreement with E-Comm Emergency Communications for British Columbia (E-Comm) that addresses important improvements to wages, benefits, and working conditions.

The agreement, reached on May 3, focuses on the essential work of emergency operators and their crucial role in public safety and, says the union, will help ensure consistent service for emergency communications in British Columbia. The new agreement is retroactive to January 1, 2023, and is in place until December 31, 2025. It includes wage increases of 4.25, 3.75, and 3.5 per cent in each year of the agreement.

“We worked with E-Comm to address important issues facing our members so we can provide the best possible service to the public,” said CUPE 8911 President Donald Grant. “This agreement provides a solid foundation for further progress we can continue to build upon.”

E-Comm Vice President (People and Culture) Greg Conner described the agreement overall as “very positive for our employees and for E-Comm. It better supports our people, in a way that will help improve retention and stability in our operations. It also equips us to better meet the significant labour-shortage and staffing challenges that we continue to face.”

While pleased with the new collective agreement, Grant said the union remains dedicated to addressing ongoing pressing issues through advocacy.

“We remain committed to ensuring that the provincial government establish consistent service and response standards for emergency communications in B.C.,” he said, adding that the system needs sufficient resources to deal with rising demands and increased threats of natural disasters.

“Our goal is to ensure that the province’s emergency communications services are resilient enough to meet the increased demands resulting from climate change and social change, ensuring prompt assistance for every citizen, regardless of their location,” stated Grant.