A number of serious security incidents in hospitals across Northern NSW in the past two years have prompted the Health Services Union to endorse double-pronged industrial action from paramedics and security officers.
The State’s hospital security crisis deepens. Recently another serious incident at the Lismore Base Hospital occurred with a 14 year-old boy allegedly threatening a security guard, before going on a rampage and damaging equipment.
A mass meeting of security officers and paramedics to be held at Trades Hall in Sydney on Saturday will endorse paramedics returning patients to their ambulance if they feel the emergency department lacks appropriate security.
The meeting will also endorse rolling 4-hour stoppages for security officers at hospitals across the State.
‘Enough is enough,’ says HSW NSW Secretary Gerard Hayes. ‘Our members are sick of being treated like punching bags.
‘Paramedics will now lock patients in their ambulance to keep them safe. This is a desperate situation.
‘We do not take this industrial action lightly, it really is a last resort. However, the Government has shown it is incapable of dealing with this hospital security crisis.
‘We have been arguing for 250 extra security guards with special constable powers for more than three years. We are now at the point where paramedics are being belted in hospitals while effectively doing the job of security officers.
‘In the last year hospital workers have been stabbed, punched, pushed and spat upon. Will it take a death for the Government to deal with this problem?’