Fox raises concerns about cost-cutting on backs of Island veterans
CHARLOTTETOWN – Borden-Kinkora MLA and Opposition Justice and Public Safety critic Jamie Fox is raising concerns about the job impact on Island veterans due to a lost government contract for hospital security services by the Commissionaires.
Fox made his comments following news that the Commissionaires have lost a contract with Health PEI for security services at several Island hospitals in a cost-cutting measure by Health PEI, displacing 40 positions.
“As a veteran and former law enforcement official this concerns me. To remove an established, not-for-profit service provider that largely employs local veterans and former law enforcement officers sends the wrong message about the value we place on public service by these individuals. Especially when the annual savings that may come from this change are so small and come from reduced wages for front line staff,” says Fox.
Fox questioned why it took close to eighteen months to award this contract when the original Request For Proposals (RFP) closed in May 2014. Fox also noted that the new multi-year contract will now cover Western Hospital in Alberton as well as Prince County Hospital in Summerside and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, impacting two other service providers along with the Commissionaires.
“According to the government’s own tender documents price was not the most important criteria used to judge bids. Yet the justification for this decision was purely as a cost savings measure. The only place where costs will be saved is from driving down wages. With a $600 million plus annual health budget you would think there would be better places to find savings than off the backs of Island veterans and front line workers,” says Fox.