Vancouver hospital security staff to respond to privatization scheme at media conference later today

News release

Move “threatens safety of patients, health workers,” HEU charges

Members of the Hospital Employees’ Union (CUPE) who provide crucial security services at Vancouver-area health care facilities will respond at a media conference today to a Vancouver Coastal Health Authority scheme to privatize their jobs to cut costs.

HEU secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt will be joined at the conference by front-line security staff, which takes place at 1:30 p.m. at the Century Plaza Hotel, 1015 Burrard St., Vancouver, in Salon B.

The health authority is expected to launch a request for proposals—the first step in the privatization process—this week.

While the authority has claimed that the move is designed to improve service quality, Allnutt says it’s all about cutting costs. “Rolling back security standards and wages for existing staff is no way to improve service quality,” he says.

“It’s an alarming move that threatens the safety of patients and health care workers, and another example of why the Campbell Liberal’s reckless privatization agenda is bad for our health care system.”

Urban hospitals, and emergency rooms in particular, are dangerous places to work and to be cared for, says Allnutt. Security staff frequently deal with situations involving force, violence and weapons.

What: Hospital security staff respond to privatization threat Where: Century Plaza hotel, Salon B 1015 Burrard St. When: 1:30 p.m., Tuesday September 17, 2002 Who: Front-line security staff and Chris Allnutt, HEU secretary-business manager -30- Contact: Stephen Howard, communications director, 604-240-8524 (cell)