ILWU Security Officers push for certification

When security officers working for Kaiser in Oregon wanted to get more training and special certification, the first response from management was, “sorry, there’s no money for training.”

That didn’t stop dispatcher/security officer Greg Chavez. He was interested in a special accreditation certificate offered by the International Association of Healthcare Safety and Security (IAHSS).  The standards are tough; only 16 hospitals in the United States have security staff with these standards, including the famous Mayo Clinic.

Chavez learned about a special training fund that was available to help employees advance their skills. So he and his fellow officers – all members of ILWU Local 28 – completed a self-study program on their own time. Every Tuesday night for about four months, they held a study group at the Kaiser Permanente Building, until everyone had taken enough course work to earn the certification.

“It’s a mark of distinction,” explains Bob Black, security manager at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center.

The group is now working on several other projects, including a paperless incident report system and ongoing training to manage difficult patients and visitors.

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