Protests at St Mary's Hospital over pay for Sodexo-employed staff
Professor Tim Orchard, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust chief executive, has the following message for patients, visitors and staff in response to on going industrial action at St Mary’s.
“I would like to thank everyone at St Mary’s for their patience during the industrial action by some of our Sodexo-employed staff this week. I would also like to apologise for the noise and disruption caused by the picket action - while it has been largely good natured, it is having an impact on patients, visitors and staff.
“Around 40 Sodexo cleaners and porters have not covered their shifts today. I do understand their concerns which we have been working with Sodexo and trade union partners to address. We committed back in April to invest significantly more through the retendering of our facilities management contract to ensure staff are paid at least the London Living Wage. We are due to announce who has been awarded the contract shortly and it will take effect in April. Meanwhile, we are continuing to explore with Sodexo and our trade union partners improvements to pay that can be introduced sooner than April 2020.
“I remain very clear that all of the staff who work in our hospitals – including through contracts with specialist companies like Sodexo – should be part of one team. Their direct employers have the primary responsibility to ensure the welfare of their staff and to respond to their concerns but we will also play our full part.
“I hope that the offer of ACAS mediation to resolve the current dispute between Sodexo and their staff will be taken up so that improvements can continue to progress and industrial action be brought to an end.”
• The Trust made a firm commitment earlier this year to ensure the pay of everyone working in our hospitals is at least the level of the London Living Wage. All of our cleaners, porters and catering staff will be paid at least the London Living Wage when the new facilities management contract begins in April 2020.
• The high quality care we provide to our patients is the result of collaboration between many different people and every role is important, so we’re also committed to ensuring everyone who works here feels valued, motivated and supported.
• We remain concerned about the impact of minimum pay for staff working in our hospitals and we are exploring with our contract partners and trades unions any improvements that could be made sooner than April 2020.
• Operational plans are in place to ensure the planned industrial action does not impact on patient care and we hope the offer of ACAS mediation to resolve the current dispute will be taken up so that improvements can continue to progress without industrial action.