Vancouver MP’s Peter Julian and Sukh Dhaliwal met with CEIU representatives to hear how service to the public is worsening at Service Canada call centres. The visits are part of the union’s ongoing action to address the underlying cause of the decline in service: poor working conditions that are driving up levels of turnover and illness among call centre staff.
Members in Bathurst, New Brunswick led off the MP contact in a successful meeting with Yvon Godin and over 100 local members. In Vancouver, Local President Colbey Peters spoke with MP Peter Julian about conditions at the Vancouver call centre and the impact on service to seniors and the unemployed. He agreed to take the issue back to the NDP caucus to determine how the party would handle it. North Delta MP Sukh Dhaliwal was aware of service issues from a constituent viewpoint and appreciated learning about their operational roots from the union.
As with call centres across the country, management in Vancouver expects workers to be working the phones almost every minute of the day. This high contact rate, known in call centres as the “occupancy rate”, is well above industry standards and leads to high levels of staff turnover and absence due to stress related illness. The net effect is fewer experienced workers to handle the requests for help from the public. Looming cuts to the term contract staff in call centres promise a further deterioration in service.
More MP visits by the union are planned for the coming weeks and
members can add their voice to the campaign by emailing their MP. Visit the Parliament of Canada website, enter your postal code to find your MP, and send your message to the email address provided.
Svetlana Krajinovic, Peter Julian, Colbey Peters & Garry Fraser (PSAC)
Sukh Dhaliwal & Jonathan Gonzalez