THE outsourcing of security by Peel Health Campus (PHC) is “unsafe and unacceptable,” according to the Health Services Union of WA.
On Thursday , 11 security officers (eight full-time and three casual) lost their jobs after Ramsay Health Care (RHC) announced security would be outsourced to Resolute Security Services.
HSUWA secretary Naomi McCrae said it was a disappointing decision.
“Not only for the workers who have lost their jobs, but also for other staff and the public who feel unsafe at the hospital,” she said.
“The HSUWA is offering assistance to our members involved in this very difficult and uncertain time.”
“Outsourcing security isn’t a solution to keeping health workers and the public safe in our hospitals.
“We should instead be focusing on employing more in-house security and better integrating security into our emergency departments.
“Sub-contracting arrangements create an environment where the control of the hospital’s security is handled by a separate commercial business, which is simply unsafe and unacceptable.
“At a hospital that has experienced a growing number of violent incidents, security should be directly handled on-site by a skilled team who understands the hospital’s needs.”
Ms McCrae urged Ramsay Health Care to reconsider the decision and to take direct responsibility for the hospital’s security requirements.
A PHC spokeswoman said contracting a external company that specialised in the area was the result of a review of security arrangements and staffing at the hospital.
“The main reason for the change is to further improve campus security and enhance the safety of our staff, patients and visitors,” she said.
“This is at a time when we are seeing more violence and aggression in the community and in hospitals around the country.
“Resolute Security Services (RSS) has a proven track record in providing security at hospitals…the feedback has been extremely positive.
“Many of the company’s staff are ex-police and defence officers and they are experts in the use of de-escalation techniques.”
The spokeswoman said they would search for alternative jobs at PHC and other RHC sites for the affected security staff in the hope of finding suitable employment for them.
“If this process fails then redundancy will arise,” she said.
“Impacted staff, who are being offered support throughout this difficult period, will also be given the option to express an interest in employment with RSS but that is a process unrelated to RHC and PHC.
“The hospital has not made this decision lightly – we realise this is an extremely challenging time for impacted staff, but we feel it is necessary given our evolving security needs.”