GMB to work closely with Sodhexo to ensure workers are protected during transfer

Royal Sussex Hospital, Brighton

Royal Sussex Hospital, Brighton

The GMB has welcomed the agreement between Brighton & Sussex University Hospital (BSUS) NHS Trust and Sodexo to transfer services back in house.

Sodexo was awarded a five-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.

GMB organiser Gary Palmer 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.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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