911 operator waits by phoneBargaining between E-Comm 9-1-1 and the Emergency Dispatchers of BC has reached impasse. Mediated talks broke down today, with the employer unwilling to address key union concerns around low wages, cost of living, overtime, missed breaks, poor working conditions, burnout, and high attrition, says CUPE Local 873-02, the union representing 9-1-1 operators and support staff in B.C.

“It became apparent during bargaining that E-Comm is desperately underfunded. For an organization that provides such a critical public service, it clearly lacks the funding and resources to deliver the service,” says CUPE 873-02 Unit Chair Matthew Bordewick.

“Chronic underfunding by E-Comm has led to unacceptable wait times for both emergency and non-emergency calls. 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 the employer will now shift their focus to addressing essential service levels. 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.

“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.”