BCMEA’s Information Services department develops and supports a variety of systems aimed at aiding customer-member in their day-to-day operations. By providing data and analysis of things like labour costs, modelling of cost information, and other business related data, the Association is able to provide it’s customer-members with on-going information that assists them in their commercial endeavors. BCMEA is also committed to being in constant contact with its customer-member to ensure that we are aligned with their needs, and that there’s a balanced exchange of technological reliance.
One of the main thrusts of BCMEA’s Information Services department is in the efficiency of the Vancouver Dispatch Centre, or hiring hall. The Vancouver hall is one of only two or three in North America that is run by employers, and BCMEA’s focus on technology solutions has assisted greatly in increasing the efficiency of the hiring hall dispatch. On a daily basis, there maybe as many as 1,200 job requirement of different types spread over 3 shifts. To meet those requirement, on any given day, upwards of 2500 long shore workers may be available, all with different skill sets. Within about 30 minutes, 3 times a day, the Dispatch Centre must match the job requirements to available labour. Without the assistance of technology, this daily dispatch would be impossible.
BCMEA has had good cooperation from the union on the introduction of technology at the hiring hall. The Association continues to strive for further advances in technology that will assist in the dispatch process. Computer assisted remote dispatches to the desktop, PDA or cell phone would reduce costs for employees who currently have to physically be present at the hall for dispatch. By our calculations, it probably costs an individual 1,500 to 2,000 a year to maintain a physical presence in the hiring hall.
Information Services systems also facilitate Workers’ Compensation Board submission and statistical reporting, including a comprehensive suite of applications designed to manage I.L.W.U. work-related personal, discipline, occupational training, safety, payroll and benefits information.
As our member-customers continue to introduce new technology on the waterfront, BCMEA is committed to ensuring that we have the infrastructure and systems in place to support them in these endeavors.