Hospital workers demand more security

Gerard Hayes has sought more security guards in hospitals over fears about safety. Photo: Supplied
Gerard Hayes has sought more security guards in hospitals over fears about safety. Photo: Supplied

Hundreds of health service union members in Goulburn, Yass and Crookwell will go on a four-hour strike next month while demanding increased security for hospital workers.

The announcement came after NSW Health Services Union delegates voted in favour of the action on Tuesday.

An estimated 621 Health Services Union (HSU) members working with Goulburn Base Hospital, Bourke Street Health Service, Crookwell District Hospital and Yass District Hospital will go on strike on August 1.

Gerard Hayes, HSU NSW secretary, has sought 250 extra security guards with additional constable powers to deal with "the crisis."

Doctors and nurses will not be going on strike. Arrangements will be in place to ensure that patients are not at risk.

Stewart Prins, spokesperson, HSU

"These pleas have fallen on deaf ears. In response, HSU delegates conference has unanimously endorsed strike action. Our members are sick of being treated as punching bags. We do not take this strike action lightly; it really is a last resort," he said.

"We've seen too many people stabbed, too many people shot, too many people who have been spat upon or punched, too many people getting PTSD because they went to work. We need 250 extra security officers with special constable powers and we need them now."

Over 22,000 hospital workers across NSW are set to go on strike next month.

Health Service Union members taking the action include security staff, paramedics, allied health workers, ward people, cleaners and kitchen staff.

"Everyone except doctors and nurses will be going on strike. Workers will ensure that arrangements are made in advance to ensure that patients are not at risk," HSU spokesperson Stewart Prins said.

A Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) spokesperson said, "SNSWLHD is currently undertaking an assessment of the impact of the proposed HSU strike action at its Goulburn, Yass and Crookwell facilities. The District will manage any impacts on patients' care during the action in a planned and measured way."