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Joe hits out at hospitals merger pay date threat.

Byline: GEORGE MORGAN ECHO Correspondent news@liverpoolcom @LIVECHONEWS

LIVERPOOL Mayor Joe Anderson says he will withdraw his support for a major merger involving some of Liverpool's biggest hospitals unless a contract which will see workers effectively lose a week's pay is scrapped.

Hundreds of low-paid hospital cleaners, caterers and porters have had their wages withheld after the provider ISS upgraded their payroll system.

This has led to many being unable to pay household bills.

The situation has angered the Mayor, who is prepared to oppose plans for a merger between Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospital Trust (RLBHT) and Aintree University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

The organisations say the changes would make life better for patients - but the Mayor, who has previously backed the move, insists pay is paramount.

Speaking to the ECHO, Mr Anderson said: "I've demanded that those ISS services are brought in house as part of the merger deal.

"I've told the Royal neither I nor the council will support the merger unless that is done. It won't get my support. We can't have trusts being part of the city's health and wellbeing board, which I chair, if our workforce is being forced to use food banks because of the way they are being treated."

The problem follows contractor ISS's decision to move staff from weekly to fortnightly pay, meaning they will not receive the first week's wages until they leave the company.

ISS has offered "bridging loans" to cover the shortfall, but the loan must be paid back within four weeks.

The firm is contracted to provide 600 cleaners, caterers and porters across RLBHT and the Walton Centre, but they also have contracts across the UK.

A spokesperson for RLBHT said: "Mayor Anderson has made his position regarding ISS clear and we understand the concerns he and others have. "Should the proposed merger go ahead, it will be necessary to review these arrangements. The decision will be made by the board of that new trust, once it has been established.'' Responding to concerns over the new structure, ISS told the ECHO: "The new system will, most importantly, help us improve our service to employees, whilst enabling us to offer the most up-to-date payroll, employee vetting and labour management services.."

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Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson

ISS staff at a protest against the withholding of wages

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Apr 29, 2019
Words:389
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