MORE than 45 Orange Linen Service workers could be left without jobs when plans to “streamline” NSW Health’s linen laundering services are green lit.
HealthShare NSW, an arm of NSW Health, plans to have all of Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick’s linen, which is currently laundered by Orange Linen Service, sent to similar services in Paramatta and Newcastle to save on transport costs.
A spokesperson for HealthShare NSW said every week, about 32 tonnes of hospital linen is delivered to Prince of Wales in five semi-trailer trips, with dirty linen returned on the reverse route.
“To reduce trucking costs, HealthShare NSW plans to service Prince of Wales from its laundries at Parramatta and Newcastle,” the spokesperson said.
Health Services Union (HSU) NSW secretary Gerard Hayes confirmed the union was meeting with concerned Orange Linen Service workers on Monday.
Mr Hayes has called on MP Andrew Gee to stand up for local jobs.
“Once again, local managers have to do the dirty work of implementing the state government’s $3 billion in health cuts,” he said.
“There’s real anxiety and confusion among our members who have not been told what the future holds.
“Andrew Gee needs to forget about his Liberal Party mates in Macquarie Street and do everything possible to stick up for jobs in his electorate.
“We’re not ruling out further action if we don’t get answers.”
The HealthShare NSW spokesperson said the organisation was working with staff at the Orange Linen Service to discuss the changes including the option of redeployment into vacant positions within other HealthShare services in Orange and the Western NSW region.
“HealthShare NSW has commenced consultation with the Health Services Union and this will continue throughout the change process,” the spokesperson said.
A meeting of Orange Linen Service staff has been held with an additional staff meeting planned for next week.
“We are committed to ensuring staff are kept advised of plans and are well supported throughout the change process,” the spokesperson said.
“Orange Linen Service will still continue to provide an important service for the local healthcare community, serving more than 23 facilities in the western NSW region, including Orange Health Service, Dubbo Base Hospital and Bathurst Base Hospital as well as a range of smaller healthcare facilities.”
The spokesperson said Orange Linen Service can launder up to 100 tonnes of linen per week and is one of eight laundries operating for NSW Health.