HSC Security prepares for December 15 strike action
Members of HSC Security - Local 249 (pictured above at rally in September) are frustrated by WRHA/HSC's inability to address high staff turnover. If a fair deal isn't reached, strike action will begin Dec. 15.
Dec 09, 2015A dangerous work environment and high staff turnover can take its toll on any workplace. Add to that three and a half years spent working without a contract and it’s easy to see why members of Health Sciences Centre Security (MGEU Local 249) are discouraged by this round of negotiations and poised for strike action, scheduled to begin Tuesday, December 15.
“As hard as it is to believe, these workers have been without a contract since March 2012,” says MGEU President Michelle Gawronsky. “It’s time for the employer to step up to the plate with a fair wage offer and improved training to help keep those valuable security officers in place.”
Attracted by better compensation and safer workplaces, about half of the security team of 80 has left within the last five years. HSC Security Officers remain frustrated by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s inability at the bargaining table to provide a fair and reasonable offer that effectively deals with significant staff recruitment and retention problems.
If HSC can’t attract and keep enough qualified, experienced officers, the safety of Security Officers and those they help protect, is put at risk.
Join us for a rally on the picket line December 15
Everyone is welcome to show their support for Local 249 by joining a rally outside the William Avenue HSC entrance from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm on December 15, or by walking the picket line with HSC Security members at any time during the strike. The picket line will be set up outside the William Avenue entrance from 7 am to 6 pm for December 15 and 16, and 8 am to 5 pm thereafter (noon to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays).
Members of Local 249 who are picketing are asked to report to their picket captain in order to ensure their picketing hours are recorded.
“We were really hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but with no further bargaining dates scheduled before the 15th and the employer making no attempt to revise their offer, our members have no choice but to take a stand for the important services they deliver by taking strike action.”
Strike preparations are well underway and an essential services agreement has been negotiated with the WRHA/HSC to maintain core services during the strike.
HSC Security - Not your average security team
HSC Security is not your average hospital security team because HSC is not your average Manitoba hospital. HSC is large - it spans 32 acres with 13,000 visitors and 7,000 employees walking through the doors every day. It’s located in a high-crime neighbourhood, which is why many HSC security officers have Special Constable status.
They perform patient watches, confiscate weapons, respond to emergency threats, diffuse violent situations and coordinate evacuations to help keep Manitobans safe. Last year they responded to over 5,500 incidents (significantly higher than any other Manitoba hospital).