The public is worried very much about the safety in the hospitals due to the increasing number of cases of violence, especially on the wave of meth crisis.
Health Minister of Canada states that hospital guards may intervene and use force in emergency situations and cases of violence, with which the unions disagree.
Representatives of unions insist that under the law, security officers in medical institutions do not have special powers, except when they have a special constable status. Even though MGEU has received a legal opinion that it is not permitted for security officers to arrest or to use power, the Minister of Health does not recognize their position.
The President of MGEU spoke about the realities in the hospitals. She informed that security officers were repeatedly reprimanded or even brought to criminal liability for the use of force, even if it was necessary. She cited the example of a hospital guard who prevented suicides and was removed from work. The security guards are not clearly aware of their authority and are working in fear of violating something.
At the moment, in order to have the right to use force against mentally unhealthy people who threaten someone else's security, a hospital guard must have the status of a constable, which in practice has been denied by Manitoba justice long ago.
MGEU wrote an open letter to Minister Friesen, which contained a call to give clear explanations about the authority of security in hospitals and legislatively resolve this issue to ensure its normal work. The minister is ready to negotiate with the representatives of the unions.
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