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Sodexo Fife Pay Dispute

Thursday, April 4, 2013

GMB Call On New Scottish Police Chiefs To Intervene In Scottish Police HQ Sodexo Pay Dispute.

GMB is asking that living wage is adopted by the new Scottish Police Authority at the Scottish Police College and that Sodexo is required to pay it.

GMB is calling on the new Chief Constable of Police Scotland, Stephen House, who took over on 1st April 2013 to intervene in its long running pay dispute with Sodexo at Police Scotland’s HQ in Fife. GMB is also calling on Vic Emery the chair of the new Scottish Police Authority (SPA) that came into being on 1st April to use his influence as well. 

The workers are in dispute with Sodexo over their failure to pay catering workers at the Scottish Police College, home to Police Scotland’s HQ, the Scottish living wage of £7.20 an hour. Most of the workers receive just £6.37 an hour.

The dispute is over a one per cent pay offer dating back to April 2012. The workers took a second day of strike action on Monday March 25. These workers voted unanimously for strike action in an official ballot held by the union. They have imposed a ban on overtime since 6th February. The first day of strike action took place on March 18th.

Richard Leonard, GMB Organiser, said “GMB received a speedy and positive response from Chief Constable Stephen House a fortnight ago when we first contacted him. Now that power has formally transferred to him we want him to help us in our efforts to get the dispute resolved.

A new single police force took control on 1st April and the Scottish Police Authority which Vic Emery chairs inherits the Sodexo catering contract from the Scottish Police Services Authority.

The Scottish living wage has been adopted by the Scottish Government, Scottish Local Government and the NHS right across Scotland. All GMB is asking is that it is adopted by the new Scottish Police Authority at the Scottish Police College and that Sodexo is required to pay up.

This is a chance for the new Authority and the new Chief Constable to get off to a positive start which we hope they will take. Not only would it help in tackling low pay we believe it would also tackle a residual problem of unequal pay. The vast majority of these low paid catering workers are women. We know that male dominated jobs of equal value at the College like gardeners are paid a much higher rate. 

Under the provisions of the public sector equality duty Police Scotland and the SPA are required to pay due regard to the need to tackle equal pay and the gender pay gap and consider “award criteria and conditions in relation to public procurement.” As part of this equality duty they can also set “equality outcomes”. It would be straight forward for these two new public bodies to eliminate low pay and unequal pay among these Sodexo workers. It would also be the right thing to do.”

Ends

Contact:  Richard Leonard on 07703 465447 or GMB Press Office 07921 289 880 or 07974 215 823

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