Local hospital laundry

Kootenay Lake hospital laundry decision delayed

Interior Health’s new CEO says a final decision on privatizing hospital laundry services won’t be made before March.

Interior Health’s new CEO says a final decision on privatizing hospital laundry services, including those in Nelson, won’t be made before March.

“I plan to take additional time in reviewing the future of our laundry services,” Chris Mazurkewich said in a prepared statement. “This process has taken, unfortunately, longer than anyone anticipated, and I want to take the time to understand all of the complexities around this significant issue.”

Mazurkewich said he appreciates the delay may be frustrating to those who have been waiting for the decision.

“I plan to work with the team leading the review to gather all of the information available to ensure we make a thorough recommendation to our board,” he said.

Those recommendations will be presented to the board in March.

The Hospital Employees’ Union, which represents affected workers, welcomed the news.

“We’re pleased that under new leadership, the IHA is taking a serious look at the plans for hospital laundries,” secretary-business manager Jennifer Whiteside said in a news release. “So far, we have not seen any valid justification for the health authority to forge ahead with contracting out this efficient, publicly delivered service.”

Since announcing last year that it would seek bids from the private sector to take over all or part of its laundry operations in11 communities including Nelson, the health authority has delayed its final decision several times.

“This in-house laundry operation has set the bar high in terms of productivity, efficiency and quality standards, according to the IHA itself,” says Whiteside. “We need the IHA to be a champion of protecting family-supporting jobs and a clearly well-run service in their region. That would be a win-win situation for everybody.”

This week the union also pointed to Simon Fraser University economist Marvin Shaffer’s review of two IHA documents obtained through a Freedom of Information request to analyze the health authority’s rationale for outsourcing its laundry services. He found no business case for privatization, the union said.

Nelson city council has objected to the privatization of hospital laundries, which would eliminate 17 full-time and 12 casual jobs at Kootenay Lake Hospital. If the move goes ahead, laundry services are expected to be provided by a contractor in the Lower Mainland or Alberta.

 

Just Posted

Selkirk College students protest proposed tuition increases

Sudents’ union says this year’s 2 per cent increase puts education out of reach for some

Nelson project funds rural schools in Nepal

Mountain trekker David Swain runs the Altitude Project

Trail area homicide investigation continues

Jan. 14 marked one year since Jordan Workman was discovered in the trunk of a burnt car

Leafs, Nitehawks settle for 4-4 tie

Nelson is now unbeaten in nine straight games

Former ski champ and MLA’s son hope to open Castlegar cannabis store next month

Felix Belczyk and Ben Conroy are in the approval process for local Spiritleaf outlet

VIDEO: Monday Roundup

The Star’s weekly news roundup

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

New military armoury opens in Cranbrook

Military presence in the Key City a part of the 44th Engineer Squadron

Speaker brings report on allegations to B.C. legislature committee

Report describes Darryl Plecas’ suspicions about senior staff

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver that killed BC RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Doug Ford says the Liberals’ carbon tax will plunge Canada into recession

The Ontario premier said there are already warning signs of difficult economic times ahead

Kamala Harris opens U.S. presidential bid in challenge to Trump

The 54-year old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in a video distributed by her campaign

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Most Read