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Sodexo Brighton Deal Accepted

Friday, February 1, 2013

GMB members vote to accept Sodexo offer to settle dispute at Brighton and Sussex University hospitals NHS trust.

GMB will work hard with Sodexo to ensure that a range of issues are dealt with in a fair and equitable manner and to maintain a high quality of service to patients.

GMB members in Sussex have voted to accept the latest offer from Sodexo healthcare in settlement of the current dispute over compulsory redundancies and pay issues at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

These members work as outsourced cleaners, caterers, housekeepers and porters on NHS contracts at Brighton and Haywards Heath Hospitals. See notes to editors for joint press release re ballot issued 10th Jan 2013

The agreed settlement includes a commitment from the company to positively seek voluntary redundancies for the revised figure of in the region of 35-45 roles and that members of staff who endured issues with their pay over the Christmas period and several other occasions will receive high street vouchers to the amount of £75.

Gary Palmer GMB organiser said, “We are pleased that our members, who's commitment to protect jobs has already brought about the saving of over 50 jobs in soft services, within the BSUH have along with their colleagues have both had the threat of compulsory redundancy's lifted from them and that the company has properly recognised through the compensation offer the real distress and hardship that failing to get their pay correct in the first place has caused for employees.

Families who struggled over several weeks including the festive period can enjoy using these vouchers at a national supermarket chain or a list of other major retailers when they choose to do so.

GMB will now be looking to work hard to ensure that going forward we work together with Sodexo to deal with a range of issues. We with want requests for voluntary redundancy dealt with in a fair and equitable manner. We will want to see that those who remain working for the company maintain both their current terms and conditions and pay together with working practices. We will want to ensure that services are maintained to the high standards that is appreciated both by other health care workers at the hospital and patients alike.”

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For further information contact Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser on 07552 165950, Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977 518042 Rob Macey GMB Legal Officer on 07710 618 908

Notes to editors

Text of GMB press release Thursday 10th January 2013

GMB TO CONSULT MEMBERS OVER PROPOSAL TO RESOLVE SODEXO DISPUTE AT SUSSEX HOSPITALS AS INDUSTRIAL ACTION BALLOT PROCESS IS SUSPENDED

This is the text of a joint statement has been issued by GMB and Sodexo on 10th January 2013.

Following negotiations between GMB and Sodexo that took place in London to resolve the ongoing dispute about Sodexo’s contract in Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust, a proposal has been made to resolve the dispute which will now be put to staff on site.

The dispute centered around planned redundancies on the contract and the Company's difficulties in paying staff properly.

The proposal to resolve the dispute includes a commitment to ensuring any pay queries are immediately resolved, that all affected employeeswill receive an additional annual leave allowance to compensate them for the problems they have encountered, a commitment to actively seek voluntary redundancies before any compulsory redundancies are made and a further reduction in the maximum number of compulsory redundancies that could be made.

If the current ballot for industrial action which closes tomorrow provides a mandate for industrial action, this will be temporarily suspended to allow time for GMB to consult members to see if they accept the proposal.

Gary Palmer, GMB Organiser,  said: "We are pleased that we now have a proposal that can be put to members for their consideration. This has been an extremely stressful time for staff on site but we are hopeful that a way forward has been found. As always, it will be GMB members who will make the decision through the balloting process which will now take place."

Greg Austin, HR Director Sodexo, said: "We are pleased that we have been able to reach an agreement on a proposal to resolve the dispute. We recognise that this is a difficult time for our employees and our focus is on resolving the issues as quickly as possible and ensuring that patient care is not affected."

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