Imagine you are a security officer who attends a duress alarm, intervenes to stop a violent patient from assaulting a clinician in an Emergency Department, only to suffer a severe injury yourself.
In the months to years ahead, while undergoing rehabilitation and surgery on the injury, your main aim is to get back to work. You believe your employer will do the right thing by you because you were injured saving a colleague from being severely assaulted.
Unfortunately, Northern NSW LHD did not do the right thing by HSU member Mick Francis, the Security Manager at Tweed Heads Hospital. In fact, they forced him to look for work with a new employer, as they decided that they could not accommodate his medical restrictions.
The HSU Sub Branch at Tweed Heads would not let this happen to one of their own, and resolved on Thursday 5 December to stop work for 1 hour to tell management that it is simply not good enough to throw a worker on the scrap heap after decades of service.
Gerard Hayes, HSU Secretary said “This worker has vast experience, and is a genuine asset to the hospital.
“There are many ways this experience could be used within the hospital environment, especially in teaching younger staff and advising on security issues.
“Instead of casting him aside, hospital management should be falling over themselves to make sure he stays at Tweed and continues to contribute to the safety of both staff and patients.”
Members made it quite clear that they took this action not only for Mick’s sake, but because what happened to Mick could happen to anyone.
Violence in our hospitals in unacceptable – and so is throwing injured workers on the scrap heap.