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Wigan Council resolves NHS trust jobs outsourcing row

UNISON members holding a lobby outside the Trust board meeting at the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary site in Wigan on 25 April Image copyright Unison
Image caption Unison members protested outside the NHS Trust board meeting last month

A strike over an NHS trust's plans to outsource 900 jobs has ended following intervention from the local council.

Wrightington, Wigan & Leigh Foundation Trust (WWL) has ditched proposals to transfer catering, cleaning and porter roles to WWL Solutions.

Wigan Council brokered a deal between the trust's management and the Unison trade union.

More investment in community services - likely to be about £2m - will reduce demands on the trust, the council said.

Under the original proposals, a new arms-length company called WWL Solutions would have been formed by the trust.

Image copyright Wigan Council
Image caption Council leader David Molyneux said the cash aid could be around £2m

Council Leader David Molyneux said: "The total amount is yet to be agreed but it is in the region of £2m and will help the hospital to invest in transforming services, resulting in future savings."

He thanked the trust for accepting its offer and the unions for "playing a constructive role in working with the council".

Trust chairman Robert Armstrong said he was "delighted" with the council's "funding option".

Kevan Nelson, North West Regional Secretary of Unison, welcomed the decision to withdraw the proposed outsourcing of his members' jobs.

He added: "We look forward to working with the trust to ensure that high-quality health services continue to be delivered to the people of Wigan."

Unison members walked out on 23-24 May, 8-10 June, and from 28 June to 3 July.

A further walkout had been planned for 17 July.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Around 600 staff walked out in the dispute

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