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Bid to avert industrial action

Friday, 25th February, 2011

The BIC will meet wirh the FWLHN this afternoon The BIC will meet wirh the FWLHN this afternoon

By John Casey

The Barrier Industrial Council will meet with the Far West Local Health Network this afternoon in a last ditch attempt to avoid industrial action at the Broken Hill Base Hospital.

A key element of the dispute is in relation to staff escorting mental health patients to and from the hospital and lengthy negotiations have so far been unable to find a resolution.

Unless a satisfactory agreement can be reached this afternoon the FWLHN may have no option but to contract outside security staff for the hospital.

A mass meeting of BIC employees on Wednesday voted to reject the current offer from the FWLHN.

BIC President Mr Danny O'Connor said he would go into today's meeting hoping to find a resolution but could not rule out the prospect of industrial action.

"However, regardless of the outcome, the personal safety of patients, staff and members of the public at the hospital will not be compromised," Mr O'Connor said.

"Staff response to code black and duress alarms shall continue ... our members will not be putting anyone at risk."

Today's negotiations are scheduled to start at 4pm.

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