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August
Lifeguard union refuses to join working groups
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Leisure and Cultural Services Department's (LCSD) repeated invitations to sit on two working groups were formally turned down by the Hong Kong and Kowloon Life Guard's Union at a meeting this (August 12) afternoon.

Expressing disappointment about the outcome of today's meeting, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong, hoped that the union could, same as the management, adopt a positive and sincere approach in resolving their differences.

"We sincerely hope that the union will join hands with us in working out ways to further enhance our lifeguard service to the public," she said.

At this afternoon's meeting, the LCSD explained to the union in details the aims and work principles of the two working groups - one to study the mechanism to set the salary level of LCSD temporary contract lifeguards, and the other to review the lifeguard establishment.

"Although the union has decided not to join the working groups, we will keep them inform of the work progress and we welcome their participation and views at times they deem suitable," she said.

In order to expedite the manpower review which needs time to thoroughly study the deployment arrangement in each and every of the LCSD's 36 swimming pools and 32 beaches, the related working group will hold its first meeting tomorrow.

Besides LCSD officers, the working group members will include management staff and lifeguards of the swimming venues and a representative of the Hong Kong Life Saving Society.

Recently the LCSD directorate paid a series of visits to the department's swimming venues to gather views from the frontline staff.

"The valuable suggestions collected will be carefully discussed by the working groups," said Ms Wong.

"Colleagues are most welcomed to make use of opinion boxes placed at all our District Leisure Services Offices or send e-mails to us via workinggroup@lcsd.gov.hk ," she added.

The first meeting of the working group to set the mechanism of salary level of contract lifeguards will be held on Wednesday (August 18) and the department welcomes the union and frontline staff to express their opinions.

Ends/Thursday, August 12, 2004
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