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Lifeguards urged to stay at their posts

The Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Ms Anissa Wong, today (July 27) appealed to the Hong Kong and Kowloon Life Guard’s Union to cancel a proposed industrial strike.

For the sake of swimmers’safety, she also urged the lifeguards to provide stable and reliable public services.

After a meeting with the union this morning Ms Wong said the department believed people would not want to see the union take any action to express their views at the expense of public interests.

“The union should have many other channels to voice their needs, under the condition that people will continue to enjoy the quality-assured services safely.”

Ms Wong reassured the union that the contracting out of the management work of Tai Kok Tsui Sports Centre and Swimming Pool would have zero effect on all the current staff members.

She pointed out that the department had a well-established monitoring mechanism to ensure the quality of services as well as level of safety provided by the contractors and such an arrangement would therefore have no effect on the provision of public services.

She also said that the management work of 10 leisure venues, including that of a swimming pool, had been contracted out. The quality of services provided and the level of safety recorded were so far very good.

Ms Wong expressed her gratitude to the Chairman of the Community Sports Committee, Mr Chau How-chen, and the vice-chairman Mr John Fan, for their support in attending today’s meeting with the union representatives.

Mr Chau and Mr Fan also conveyed a message that the lifeguard services were in great demand during the summer swimming season.

Meanwhile, a working group has been set up by the Community Sports Committee, to assist monitoring the quality of services provided by the contractors.

The LCSD welcomed such a move, and would be ready to facilitate their work.

In today’s meeting, the department proposed to set up a working group, which would help study possible ways to enhance the lifeguards’development and upgrade their professionalism. The public would be the beneficiaries as a result.

Ends/Wednesday, July 27, 2005
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