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VancouverEmergency dispatchers are outraged over managements refusal to address their safety concerns after shots from either a gun or a high-powered slingshot were fired at Lower Mainlands Emergency Communications Centre (E-Comm) early this morning.

According to the Vancouver Police, at 12:48 a.m., two shots were fired at the E-Comm building, located on the corner of Cassiar and Hastings. E-Comm management failed to take appropriate action during this incident to secure the building and guarantee their employees personal safety.

E-Comms response to this dangerous situation is appalling, says John Strohmaier, president of CUPE local 873-02, the union representing E-Comm emergency dispatchers. Management refused to provide staff with information, didnt ask Vancouver Police for proper emergency assistance and refused to provide our members with security escorts to and from their cars in the E-Comm parking lot.

Whether its gunshots or sling shots, the safety of all personnel should be the top concern and managements failure to provide any form of personal security is a true reflection of their attitude towards staff.

This incident coincides with the 911 dispatchers latest job action to no longer process all non-emergency calls. For over a year, the more than 200 dispatchers have worked to resolve vital workplace issues that impact both public and emergency personnel safety. They have been bargaining with E-Comm for more than eight months.

Weve raised concerns over safety, inadequate communication systems, harassment, workload and staff shortages and this latest incident graphically demonstrates the situation our members face at work, says Strohmaier.

Non-emergency calls are categorized as those calls that do not require police involvement or where there is no suspect.

John Strohmaier, President,
CUPE Local 873
(604) 728-2704
Robin Jones, National Representative, CUPE
(604) 603-4166

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