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Sodexo Out At Sussex NHS

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

GMB Welcome Outsourced Services At Brighton And Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust Provided In House From August 2015

We have always been clear that we wanted to see all services provided by Sodexo returned to the NHS where they should be says GMB.

GMB, the union for staff at Brighton & Sussex University Hospital (BSUS) NHS Trust, welcome the agreement between the Trust and Sodexo under which the soft Facilities Management (FM) service contract expires on 31 July 2015 and the contracts of employment of staff including rates of pay, contracted weekly hours and terms and conditions of employment are protected and transfer to the Trust. See notes to editors for copy of letter from Sodexo to GMB and to members dated 23rd March.

Sodexo was awarded a 5 year contract worth £15 million in December 2013 to provide all soft FM services for BSUH following a tendering process at the trust involving a number of companies. No in-house bid was included.

Soft FM services at Brighton & Sussex University Hospital NHS include housekeepers, caters, cleaners and porter’s amongst others at Brighton’s Royal Sussex County hospital and Princess Royal hospital at Haywards Heath.

GMB will now take part in consultations around the transfer to ensure members and staffs are protected throughout the process over the coming months.

Gary Palmer, GMB organiser, said “We have always been clear from day one that we wanted to see all services provided by Sodexo returned in house and to the NHS where they should be. We have been made aware of on-going issues with the service provision for some time through GMB representatives on the NHS staff side forums.

Recent concerns raised by the GMB over staffing and material shortages, and a reluctance from Sodexo to enter into an agreement to pay a living wage gave us the very strong feeling that an announcement on a possible contract exit were imminent.

Over the next few months we will be working hard to protect all transferees during any transfer process and we will be pressing the trust to end both the current two tier workforce approach and place all staff under AfC terms and conditions as a minimum and to reduce through the creation of the options of real full time equivalent jobs to any of the current numbers of casual and zero hour staff should they wish to remain working at the Trust.

We will be arranging to meet with members and concerned staff over the coming months to ensure their best interests are maintained throughout the process and that any specific concerns are answered.”

End

Contact: Gary Palmer GMB Organiser 07552165950, Mark Turner GMB Branch Secretary 07860787973 or Charles Harrity, GMB Senior Organiser on 07977518042 or GMB press office 07921 289880 or 07974 251 823

Notes to editors

Letter to GMB from Sodexo  23 March 2015

Gary Palmer

GMB Organiser

49 Church Road

Hove

Brighton BN3 2BE

Dear Gary

Soft FM Services at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

There has been an announcement today regarding the early cessation of the Sodexo Agreement to provide Soft FM services to the Trust. 

The following is a short media statement issued jointly by the Trust and Sodexo.  “By mutual agreement, Sodexo’s contract with BSUH will expire on 31 July 2015.   After this date, facilities management services at BSUH will be provided in-house by the Trust. BSUH and Sodexo will work closely to ensure a smooth transition of services. Employees have been informed of this decision and will be communicated with and consulted with appropriately.”

We are in the process of holding team briefings for each shift at the Princess Royal Hospital and Royal Sussex County Hospital and these are short sessions to assure team members they retain their position, pay and terms according to the Transfer of Undertaking Regulations. 

It will be important for us to meet up and I’m sure the Trust will seek to commence its consultation with you directly.   

If you have any specific questions please do not hesitate to give me a call.

Yours sincerely

Caroline Laver

Operations Director – Sodexo at BSUH

2 Letter to staff 23 March 2015

Dear colleague

Transfer of your employment to the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

Following an agreement between the Trust and Sodexo, we announce our soft FM service contract will expire on 31 July 2015.  We confirm your contract of employment including your rate of pay, contracted weekly hours and terms and conditions of employment are protected and will transfer to the Trust.

We would like to assure you this change has been mutually agreed and is not a termination under our agreement by either party.  Neither is it reflective of the standard of work or commitment shown by members of our team and Sodexo will continue to work closely with the Trust to ensure a smooth transition of services.

The next step will involve representatives from the Trust holding briefing meetings with you and these will be followed by individual discussions and formal consultation with your representatives.  This will give you the opportunity to ask specific questions.  If you are a casual worker with a casual workers agreement, your employment position after 31 July 2015 will be clarified by the Trust at that time.

You will be aware that through the Positive People Company (PPC), Sodexo employees have the option to call a confidential helpline support centre which is manned by qualified counsellors and available 24-hours a day, 365 days per year.  The number to call is: 0800 282 193.  The personal support line can help employees deal with everyday situations and more serious problems including work related worries, stress and any other individual concerns.  This service remains open to you as valued members of the Sodexo team.

We would like to thank you for your support and hard work and if you have specific concerns, please do not hesitate to speak with your line manager or any member of the management team.

Yours sincerely

Caroline Laver

Operations Director – Sodexo at BSUH

 

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