The 21 security guards working Cambridge Memorial Hospital voted unanimously to join the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) Sept. 13.
The guards are employed by SP+ Security, which Cambridge Memorial has hired to provide security services, said the union.
"These workers had long considered unionizing but, for one reason or another, hadn't taken the initial step," said Chad Ravary, OPSEU organizer. "The catalyst was a 240,000-square-foot expansion at Cambridge Memorial. The hospital announced it had no plans to request more staff to effectively patrol all that extra space."
"The guards noticed they weren't getting the same treatment as guards at other hospitals. For example, they weren't given protective equipment, like safety boots and vests, which can be lifesavers when confronted with a violent patient or visitor," said Ravary.
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