Security officers from five more hospitals to become HEU members


Arbitration ruling made earlier this year sets the tone for security services to come in-house

Security officers from Delta, Langley Memorial, Peace Arch and Surrey Memorial hospitals in the South Fraser Health Region, and Lions Gate Hospital in the North Shore Health Region, will become members of the Hospital Employees’ Union effective April 1, 2001, when security services will be brought in-house.

In South Fraser, security at all four hospitals will become a regionally-managed, in-house service, and security officers will be recognized as hospital, not regional, employees. At LGH, the officers will also become employees of the hospital.

The approximately 40 women and men will be covered by the facilities sector collective agreement and will gain substantial improvements in wages, benefits and working conditions.

Health care facilities continue to be dangerous places to work with more on-the-job incidents of force and violence than any other occupation in B.C. “Security officers ensure a safe environment for patients, staff and the public,” says secretary-business manager Chris Allnutt. “They deserve the same rights and protections that all HEU members have because security services are an integral part of our health care system.”

Earlier this year, security officers in the Simon Fraser Health Region became HEU members when, in a precedent-setting ruling, arbitrator Don Munroe determined that the guards performed bargaining unit work and that the health region was the “true employer”. That award set the tone for the agreements reached in South Fraser and at Lions Gate.

“We look forward to security officers from more regions or facilities being brought in-house as employers recognize that they are part of the health care team and do the same work as unionized employees,” says Allnutt.