Unionized ICBC Adjusters to Work at 1996 Levels



MoveUP’s Latest Job Action Relies on Corporation’s Most Recent Workload Study

For immediate release: October 10, 2012

Burnaby – The Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, local 378 (MoveUP) has issued 48 hour notice of their latest job action at ICBC: a return to claims centre adjuster workload levels as established in a 1996 workload study – the most recent completed by the Corporation.

“Workload is a very big problem at ICBC, especially at claims centres,” said MoveUP President David Black. “Our members are struggling under caseloads that are, on average, double the levels set out in the 1996 workload study. This is about customers too—when our adjusters are overworked they don’t get the time to give drivers the service they deserve.”

The study, a product of a joint union-management committee, was started in 1993 and completed in 1996. The union has repeatedly asked ICBC to undertake a new workload study in the intervening 16 years. However, the Corporation denies that workload is a problem even though, as uncovered by the provincial government’s review, the number of unionized employees has diminished as management ranks have grown.

“We won a significant unpaid overtime grievance, which was a direct result of the exploitative workload culture in ICBC’s claims centres,” explained Black. “We’re pursing redress, but we would much rather work this out with ICBC at the bargaining table.”

In his decision, Arbitrator Colin Taylor wrote that ICBC benefited from an “unjust enrichment” from workers performing unpaid overtime.

As a result of this job action, ICBC customers may have to wait longer to get a Claims Centre appointment. But when with an adjuster they will likely receive a higher level of customer service as they adjuster won’t be forced to rush through the appointment and the entire claims process.

“We’ve worked hard to not to inconvenience the public with our job actions,” said Black. “We care very much for the quality of service ICBC customers get, which is part of why the workload issue is so important. Our hope is that this will be a short-term pain that will lead to a long-term gain for both our members and B.C. drivers.”

The job action affects 42 ICBC Claims Centres around British Columbia. Click here for a full list of locations.

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Media contact: Sage Aaron, 604-317-6153, saaron@moveuptogether.ca

Background

  • MoveUP members at ICBC have been without a contract for over two years.
  • The union represents 4,600 members at ICBC in total.
  • The BC Liberal government has siphoned millions of dollars from ICBC profits each year. ICBC’s Annual Reports state the provincial government will take $1.174 billion from ICBC between 2010 and 2014.
  • ICBC has increased compensation for auto body shops, lawyers, and other professionals who have contracts with ICBC.
  • ICBC workers haven’t received an increase in wages or benefits since 2009.
  • Drivers have not seen substantial rate reductions in over five years.
  • Before this round of negotiations, MoveUP members at ICBC hadn’t been on strike in over 30 years.
  • MoveUP’s strike action began in the summer of 2012 with overtime and training bans. To date, there have been three days of strike action: September 5, September 18 and October 3. Roughly one-third of ICBC’s workforce was out on strike on each of those three days.