West Kelowna won’t get involved in IHA laundry dispute

West Kelowna Council defeated a motion 5-2 to send a letter to IHA opposing plans to privatize laundry services.

West Kelowna Council has decided it will not write a letter to the Interior Health Authority Board of Directors asking them to refrain from privatizing hospital laundry services.

While Councillors Rusty Ensign and Rosalind Neis supported a motion to write a letter to the board opposing the contract that would cost 28 workers at Kelowna General Hospital their jobs, the rest of council moved to deny the motion.

“For West Kelowna to become involved in the laundry privatization issue, they would have to expand their mandate,” explained Mayor Doug Findlater.  “We’ve been very careful since incorporation to limit our scope and keep concerns to the core of our municipality.  I’m concerned this would set a precedent, and Interior Health labor relations isn’t within the scope of council.”

Council generally didn’t want to see the service privatized, with Councillor Bryden Winsby saying it was with great reluctance he wouldn’t support the motion, but they voted 5-2 to deny the it as they believed it wasn’t their place to interfere.