British Columbia’s 9-1-1 emergency dispatch system needs an immediate infusion of funding support from local
We are a Union of over five hundred 9-1-1 Operators, Call Takers, Dispatchers, IT, and Support professionals who are employed by E-Comm Emergency Communications for BC Inc. We have worksites in Vancouver and Burnaby in the Lower Mainland, as well as Saanich on Vancouver Island.
We are the 9-1-1 Operators who provide 99% of the initial 9-1-1 call answer for British Columbia, the voice on the other end of the line asking, “Do you need Police, Fire, or Ambulance?”
We are the Police and Fire Dispatchers who answer, triage, dispatch, and update the calls in order of priority for those same 33 Police Agencies and 40 Fire Departments in British Columbia.
We are the Information Technology and Administrative Support Staff that maintain the 9-1-1 system, perform administrative functions to make sure the job gets done, and keep the essential systems used by first responders in the field up and running.
E-Comm was established in 1997 to provide consolidated emergency communications services. The first group employed at E-Comm transitioned from the Vancouver Police Department when E-Comm took over their call answer and dispatch service. CUPE 873 the Ambulance Paramedics of BC was certified as the bargaining agent for those employees at E-Comm as the sub-unit CUPE 873-02
Since 1997 E-Comm’s call answer and dispatch services have expanded from 7 police agencies to include 33 police agencies and 40 fire departments from the Lower Mainland and into the Okanagan and Vancouver Island. Our members have also kept up with technological changes in information technology.
As E-Comm expanded so did our membership and capability. In 2020, CUPE 873-02’s membership voted to form its own independent Union, resulting in the formation of CUPE 8911, Emergency Communications Professionals of BC.
As the bargaining unit representing the nearly 600 9-1-1 operators, call takers, dispatchers, Information Technology Specials, and Support professionals employed by E-Comm, we defend our collective agreement in our day-to-day business to ensure our members’ rights are upheld.
The members of CUPE 8911 are the first, first responders answering over 1.8 million 9-1-1 calls in 2020. Our members work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, ready to handle whatever emergency may come in on the phone line.
In the larger labour movement, we are committed to promoting economic and social justice for all workers. Everything we do is based on CUPE’s core values of solidarity, equality, democracy, integrity, and respect.
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ECPBC’s work is primarily performed on the ancestral lands of the Xwsepsum (Esquimalt) and Lkwungen (Songhees), Malahat, Pacheedaht, Scia’new, T’Sou-ke and W̱SÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) Nations, and the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), Tsleil-Waututh, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.