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Staff ‘shattered’ by jobs threat at laundry service
11:29am Thursday 3rd January 2013 in Keighley
Nearly 30 jobs are at risk according to union bosses following a decision to partially outsource Airedale Hospital’s 42-year-old laundry service.
Airedale NHS Foundation Trust has confirmed the move. Managers said they will do what they can to minimise the impact on staff, but say the changes are necessary because of the major investment needed to keep the laundry operating effectively.
But a union organiser said he and his colleagues were “shattered” to hear the news, and branded the move short-sighted.
Unison regional organiser Rob Demaine said the decision would return to haunt the hospital when the chosen contractor increased its prices.
He said more than 3,300 people had signed a petition calling for the laundry to remain ‘in-house’.
Linen assistant Jeanette Wilson, who lives in Steeton and has worked at the laundry for 17 years, said she and her colleagues felt “gutted”.
She added: “I love my job and this has really come as a blow – but we’re all in the same boat.
“Everything is up in the air at the moment and it’s very worrying not knowing if you’re going to have a job.”
Airedale will contract out linen washing, drying and ironing, but will continue to clean cloths, mops and patient clothing, and provide a sewing room for repairs, labelling uniforms and making and altering clothes for prosthesis patients.
Christine Miles, director of operations at Airedale, said: “We will support all those affected to either secure jobs under the new laundry service arrangements, explore alternative employment opportunities here at the foundation trust or in one of our neighbouring providers, or consider voluntary redundancy.”
l What do you think? We welcome letters on this or any other subject. E-mail richard.parker @keighleynews.co.uk.