Hospital staff 'treated as punching bags’, claims union
LISMORE Base Hospital has been criticised for hiring contract security officers who a health union claims are incapable of intervening in a violent situation.
The Health Services Union said the labour hire security guards are not authorised to restrain a patient who becomes violent. Nor can they respond to a code black duress alarm in any meaningful way.
The union has notified the local health district it is now formally in a dispute and will escalate the issue to the Industrial Relations Commission if necessary
"If Lismore Hospital management thinks window dressing will solve its security crisis they should think again," HSU Lismore organiser, Peter Kelly said.
"These labour hire security officers are simply not trained nor authorised to intervene in a violent and dangerous incident. Yet they have been employed to provide security 24 hours a day for at least the next week.
"This is what happens when you fail to plan and refuse to invest in your workforce. You wind up spending more on inadequate solutions that don't maintain public security.
"Our members at Lismore Hospital have been treated as punching bags for far too long. In the last few years they have been stabbed, punched and bitten.
"HSU members are ropeable at management's constant corner cutting. Lismore Hospital is legally required to provide employees with a safe work environment. It's time they took that seriously."
Northern NSW Local Health District has been contacted for comment.