Union hails trust’s u-turn on private company plans a ‘fantastic victory’

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys trust becomes latest to abandon plans to transfer staff to private wholly owned subsidiary company

Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys UNISON members show their opposition to the plans at a mass meeting in August


UNISON has welcomed news that an NHS trust in the north-east has become the latest to abandon plans to move staff to a wholly owned subsidiary private company.

The union hailed the decision by the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys trust – which had planned to outource more than 500 non-clinical staff to a company it had set up called Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Estates FM Ltd – as a “fantastic victory”.

The trust has held staff meetings since announcing its plans, which were due to be discussed at a trust board meeting on 25 September.

Some 600 members of staff, including maintenance workers, porters, housekeepers and caterers, were to be moved to the private company. Many of them had worked for the health service for more than 20 years.

But the trust announced yesterday that it was dropping plans, which had been opposed by UNISON, the RCN and local MPs.

UNISON Northern regional secretary Clare Williams said the decision to drop the plans “is a fantastic victory for us and for the dedicated NHS staff who have been tangled up in the issue.

“We thank local Labour MPs for their support during this campaign.

“This decision will allow the trust to retain experienced workers. They now have the assurance that all parts of the service are valued equally, working as one team to provide the best possible care for patients.”

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UNISON campaign against wholly owned subsidiaries in the NHS