E tū says a fourth assault on a hospital security guard has raised the alarm over health and safety for security guards at the Waikato and Canterbury DHBs.
Both contract out security services to a private company, Allied Security.
The latest assault – the fourth serious assault this year – involved a security guard attacked in the Emergency Department at Christchurch Hospital on Queen’s Birthday.
The assault occurred just weeks after an earlier very serious attack on a security guard member at Waikato Hospital – where Allied is also the security provider.
Another two guards remain off work after serious assaults at Hillmorton and Christchurch Hospitals.
Christchurch Senior organiser Ian Hodgetts says the string of assaults since Christmas is alarming.
“We are absolutely concerned about such a series of vicious unprovoked attacks on our members, who are simply doing their job,” he says.
Noting the epidemic of violence faced by hospital staff nationwide, he said hospitals needed more security and better security training.
DHBs also needed to improve their staffing and health and safety processes, he said.
E tū Campaign Lead, Mat Danaher says the series of assaults on guards at DHBs has highlighted serious issues with the outsourcing of security services.
“The fact is Allied Security is the security provider at both Waikato and Canterbury DHBs, and I would hope these DHBs, and DHBs nationally, are taking a serious look at who provides their security, and whether the services are fit for purpose,” says Ma
“In the case of Allied, we don’t believe that’s the case and we’ve lost any confidence they’re up to the job.”
Mat says many DHBs employ their security guards in-house – which the union supports.
“Directly employed security seems to be the model to look at for DHBs. Our hospitals are plagued by violence and all staff are affected, not just our security guard members.
“Hospital security needs a whole team approach, and the best way to do that is to make sure guards are part of the same team as other staff.”
For more information, contact:
Mat Danaher E tū Campaign Lead ph. 021 336 519
Ian Hodgetts E tū Senior Organiser ph. 027 446 4972