Interior Health Laundry decision on hold

By Chad Harris
November 25, 2015 - 3:38pm Updated: November 25, 2015 - 6:37pm

KAMLOOPS -- Interior Health has announced another delay in its move to privatize laundry services.

IH first announced its intention to privatize in 2014, and issued a request for solutions last year.

The health authority says replacing antiquated equipment would cost millions of dollars and is not worth the investment.

New IH President and CEO Chris Mazurkewich issued a statement today, saying a decision won't be made until next March at the earliest.

"This process has taken longer than anticipated, I want to take the time to understand all the complexities around this significant issue." said Mazurkewich, adding he acknowledges that this may be frustrating to those waiting for a decision. 

A move to privatize could put as many 175 people out of work.

The Hospital Employees' Union says there is no business case to support privatization of laundry services.

HEU recently contracted Simon Fraser University economist Marvin Shaffe to conduct an analysis of supporting documents around the health authority's laundry services, and found the documents didn't add up.

"At least in the documents I saw there is no case for the outsourcing, they did not provide the financial information that would tell you one way or the other, whether this is in the best interest of the health authority or the community," said Shaffe, adding any such move to privatize requires transparent analysis and if jobs are on the line, the public should know that there is a strong business case.

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