Firing property guards creates security and public safety issues

Posted April 13, 2012

The President of the PEI Union of Public Sector Employees, Shelley Ward, says “the Ghiz government should not have fired twenty-one property guards at three important locations in Prince Edward Island as this creates security and safety issues.”

President Ward says “property guards serve a number of essential functions at the Charlottetown Depot, Teepee, and the Bridgetown Depot. The Charlottetown Depot houses provincial ploughs, trucks, school buses and valuable equipment and tools. Property guards are absolutely essential to ensure the integrity of the compound and to make sure that the vehicles are not tampered with or damaged in any way. By firing these guards the government ignores safety implications for heavy equipment operators and the public.”

The Charlottetown Teepee houses sand and salt for use on our roads and highways and property guards serve as a deterrent against theft, and they make sure paperwork is in place regarding supply and load weight for heavy equipment operators. The Bridgetown Depot houses trucks, ploughs, buses and equipment like the Charlottetown Depot and removing essential personnel here creates the same security and safety issues. The Bridgetown Depot also provides a community room which property guards open and close for the public and make sure proper protocol is followed.

President Ward points out that “replacing twenty-one property guards with a few video cameras is misguided and ineffective. The Alma Depot, for instance, has experienced incidences of theft and vandalism and does not have a property guard on duty. Security personnel are not highly paid, but they serve an important purpose. Government is clearly picking on the most vulnerable and Minister Vessey’s recent comments about these workers are inappropriate. He should know how many Islanders he is affecting when he fires them. By claiming he is unaware of the numbers, but that they are equal to ten full time jobs or $250,000, is neither informed nor respectful. The fact is that twenty-one more Islanders are joining the ranks of hundreds of others that are losing their jobs - people with families, and people who perform valuable services.”

Please contact Mark Barrett at 892-5335 (or toll-free at 1-800- 897-8773) to arrange an interview.