Staff win battle to stay in NHS: shock cancellation of Trust’s transfer plan

wwl way out

At the beginning of this week, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust (WWL) issued a notification to staff who had been on a series of strikes to try to prevent their forcible transfer out of the NHS to a private company employer.

The Trust CEO’s email – a body-blow to deeply-committed cleaners, porters, domestic and maintenance staff – informed them:

I can now officially announce that the decision has been made today, by the WWL Trust Board, and the decision that has been made is to move forward in creating WWL Solutions, a wholly owned subsidiary company.

The Trust did not pause in moving forward with its plan, immediately issuing appalling notices to all staff that they could object to the transfer, but if they did their employment would be terminated immediately without compensation:

wwl threat.png

Staff and supporters contacted the SKWAWKBOX to ask for help drawing attention to WWL’s terrible behaviour toward them and yesterday the first of what would have been a series of exposés was published, with a warning of more to come.

This evening, this blog received a number of calls and messages from excited staff announcing that, just days after the decision and ensuing threats, the Trust had performed a u-turn, cancelling its plan. The industrial action had accordingly been called off.

One staff member said that the threat of further exposure may have been key – but while the SKWAWKBOX is delighted if it made a tiny contribution, the credit goes to the hard working staff, their unions and their supporters for their refusal to give in and their commitment to the NHS as a public – and publicly-owned – service.

Unite and Unison bosses Len McCluskey and Dave Prentis joined in the salutes:

Lisa Nandy was one of a number of MPs who showed solidarity with the low-paid workers, along with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and others:

The victory shows what can be achieved when the whole Labour movement sticks and works together. Congratulations to all those brave staff who now stay within our NHS family and are a credit to our nation’s greatest achievement.

The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.

If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.


  1. “There would be no entitlement to statutory or contractual compensation” sounds like a vicious threat (which I would hope might be actionable) in the letter signed by Alison Balson, who is Director of Workforce.

    “The TUPE Regulations preserve employees’ terms and conditions when a business or undertaking, or part of one, is transferred to a new employer. Any provision of any agreement (whether a contract of employment or not) is void so far as it would exclude or limit the rights granted under the Regulations.”

    Also: http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1655

  2. Solidarity triumphed against this high handed dictatorial Trust determined to lever in more privatisation to the NHS.

    Alison Balson should resign.

  3. Great news and well done to all. However, everyone must remain on high alert and ready to act and support each other, the attack on the NHS as a civilized public health service, delivered free to all on the basis of need, not ability to pay, continues.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: