Perrino responds to hospital layoffs story

Pending layoff of unionized workers at Penticton hospital "downside" of public-private partnerships said Janice Perrino.

An early artist's rendering of a new ambulatory care tower at Penticton Regional Hospital.

An early artist's rendering of a new ambulatory care tower at Penticton Regional Hospital.

In her farewell speech Thursday, the outgoing head of the hospital district acknowledged the pending layoff of unionized maintenance workers in Penticton is a “downside” of public-private partnerships.

Janice Perrino, who chairs the board of the Okanagan-Similkameen Regional Hospital District and won’t stand for re-election as mayor in Summerland on Nov. 15, said a recent article in the Western News highlighted one of the challenges facing the organization.

The article revealed 14 maintenance workers at Penticton Regional Hospital will be laid off in 2016 when operation of the facility is handed over to a consortium of companies that will design, build, finance and maintain a new seven-storey tower and other improvements worth $325 million.

“It is the downside of a P3, but it’s the only way we’re going to get this major hospital expansion,” Perrino said.

“We have to encourage the P3 company to take (those laid-off workers) on, but it’s all we can do.”

Those being laid off are members of the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Hospital Employees’ Union.

Perrino also pointed out, however, that of the 55 such workers who lost their jobs after similar upgrades at hospitals in Vernon and Kelowna, only two went elsewhere, while the others retired or were taken on by the P3 group.

Lori Holloway, Interior Health’s regional director of facilities management and operations, said previously that the P3 company will need full control over the entire site well before the ambulatory care tower opens in 2019.

“The P3 partners invest a lot of money into these projects, and because plant services is such a key component of the project, they want to make sure they run plant services,” Holloway said.

“They want to make sure it’s looked after as best as possible.”

Interior Health has also noted that the PRH expansion and upgrade project is expected to create 83 net new jobs. The successful P3 partner isn’t expected to be announced until October 2015, and will likely be given a 30-year contract.

Just Posted

Spiritleaf, Penticton’s first cannabis retailer opened in 2019. (Western News File)
Penticton expands cannabis store hours to match liquor stores

Cannabis stores are now allowed to operate until 11 p.m. in Penticton

(Jennifer Smith/Black Press file photo)
Poll: Should Penticton hold Canada Day celebrations this year?

The spotlight on residential schools has caused the rethinking of Canada Day

A committee held its first meeting on June 9 to consider opionions for incorporation of the community of Okanagan Falls. At present, Okanagan Falls is the largest unincorporated community within the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen. (Contributed)
Study begins for Okanagan Falls incorporation

Committee held first meeting on June 9

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Hot and cold water have different pouring sounds

Your morning start for Wednesday, June 16, 2021

(Facebook)
New trial date set in Penticton for Thomas Kruger-Allen’s triple assault charges

May trial was delayed after Crown witnesses failed to show up

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Old growth in the Columbia Valley, in the Kinbasket area. (Photo submitted)
Wildsight: Old-growth forests are being logged in Golden

Wildsight says that Canfor has been logging old growth at the Blaeberry headwaters

MAKING MUSIC
The Dixie Fried Hep Katz recorded a promotional video at the Kettle Valley Steam Railway station featuring the railway’s steam locomotive. The young band from Enderby plays Canadian Rockabilly, with Porter Johnson, 20, writing, lead guitarist and vocals; sister Kyndra on drums; and Logan Bannick on bass. The band is using the locomotive to promote their song Spooky Train and help shed light on the Kettle Valley Steam Railway’s drive for donations. (Tom Burley photo)
Donations help with repairs of Summerland steam railway

Kettle Valley Steam Railway put out earlier call for railway ties, tires for locomotive

Elias Carmichael #14 and Ethan Ernst #19 of the Kelowna Rockets check Gage Goncalves #39 of the Everett Silvertips during a game at Prospera Place on February 28, 2020, in Kelowna. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
Fans expected to be back in the stands for Kelowna Rockets 2021-22 season

The Rockets haven’t played in front of a crowd since March 2020

The Okanagan Forest Task Force uses a Ford F350 pick-up truck to gather back country garbage. (Okanagan Forest Task Force/Contributed)
Kelowna Canadian Tire steps in to support Okanagan Forest Task Force

The volunteer group has removed over 351,000 pounds of illegally dumped garbage to date

(Phil McLachlan/Capital News file)
Man found dead at Kelowna orchard

Police say the man was working in the orchard at the time of his death; criminality not suspected

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Most Read