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Following two work stoppages at Kelowna General Hospital and Vernon Jubilee January 21, health care workers were successful in gaining a commitment from the Interior Health Authority that it will meet with workers on February 3 to discuss alternatives to contracting out.

The health authority also agreed that it would not put out a Request for Proposals before those discussions are held.

Up until now, the IHA has not viewed privatization as a viable option and has successfully found ways to contain and cut costs that do not involve privatizing support services.

“Given the approach this health authority has taken in the past, which has been dramatically different than most other health authorities, we think there's room for us to meet and find alternative solutions to contracting out,” says HEU secretary business-manager Chris Allnutt.