The strike will take place from 6am on Thursday 28 June unless the Trust Board drops its outsourcing plan.
UNISON has today (Thursday) given notice to the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust that members who work in roles including portering, cleaning and catering will take further strike action against the plan to outsource them to a private limited company.
Unions have previously held 48 hour strikes on May 23-24 and June 8-10, but this time the strike will last for a full five days. Staff will walk out at 6am on Thursday 28 June and return at 6am on Tuesday 3 July.
Staff are striking to protect their terms and conditions and the living standards of future generations of hospital staff, and to keep the NHS team together.
The campaign has received backing from the public and from senior national and local politicians including Jeremy Corbyn, Lisa Nandy, Jo Platt, Yvonne Fovargue and Keith Cunliffe.
Lizanne Devonport, UNISON North West Regional Organiser said:
“Members are absolutely resolute in their determination to see this through. They will not willingly transfer out of the NHS and will do everything they can to stop it. This five-day action will be followed by more strike days if the Trust does not move on this issue. Staff will not go quietly and this issue is not going to disappear.”
The Trust Board is due to meet the day before the planned strike begins, on Wednesday 27 June, and all eyes will now be on that meeting to see if the Trust moves to end the dispute.
UNISON is seeking access to the Trust Board to ensure that the case against outsourcing is fairly put. The union is concerned that Chief Executive Andrew Foster has misrepresented UNISON’s position in his public pronouncements on the dispute, with the union’s willingness to explore alternatives to outsourcing leading to Mr Foster erroneously referring to a UNISON proposal to cut jobs.
Lizanne Devonport continued:
“There is no UNISON proposal for job cuts or redundancies. In an effort to avert the first strike we were willing to discuss other ways for the Trust to save money and other models of service delivery that avoid outsourcing. But our willingness to negotiate in good faith has been twisted into a straw man of a proposal that Andrew Foster has put the union’s name to, and it seems he is intending to now put that to the Board. We want to make sure that the Trust Board hears the arguments against outsourcing clearly when it meets on the 27th.
“The Trust has been obstructive in failing to provide us with any information about their business case for outsourcing, the alternatives they have considered, or the Trust’s financial position. The Trust Board needs to commit to keeping their staff in the employ of the NHS, and then enter into a meaningful and informed discussion about the future of these core services.”