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Laundry decision 'unfair'
UBLIC sector union Unison has branded a decision to transfer laundry staff at Salisbury District Hospital to a private company as “disrespectful” and “unfair”.
About 70 laundry workers are now employed by Salisbury Trading Limited instead of the NHS.
The hospital says the move will allow the laundry to compete with other private companies, which will safeguard jobs.
And the new company will be able to bid for more laundry contracts and advertise its services, which it can’t do as part of the NHS. But Unison claims staff were not properly consulted about the changes and new recruits will not have the same terms and conditions as existing staff members, who get to keep their pay level and pension.
Mark Wareham from Salisbury Unison said: “The new company is setting new pay and conditions for new starters which are outside of the NHS agreement and have informed us that they will not be allowing new starters to subscribe to the NHS pension scheme.
“We think that this is unfair and we believe that all staff in the hospital laundry deserve the same fair package of pay and conditions.”
But hospital chief executive Peter Hill said staff had been fully consulted and those who wanted to remain employed by the NHS had been helped to find other jobs at the hospital.
“If the laundry is not able to compete effectively with its commercial rivals, the danger is that we would lose a cost effective linen service within the region and a significant number of staff that rely on work here in Salisbury,” he said.
“This is a major step which will have significant advantages for the NHS and our own laundry staff. It will ensure we are able to maintain the quality and improvements that are vital to the future success of the laundry.”
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