1,000 low paid porters, cleaners and catering staff working in hospitals managed by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust are to be brought back in-house when the current five-year Sodexo contract ends at the end of March.

The Trust has decided not to put the contract out to tender again, but instead bring the staff into the Trust, with full Agenda for Change pay and conditions, initially for a year while a review takes place. The official statement says:

“we will undertake an evaluation after one year in order to decide whether to continue to employ hotel services staff directly – and bring all staff up to full NHS (Agenda for Change) terms and conditions – or re-tender the contract with a significantly amended specification.”

UNISON, which brokered the deal with the Trust points out the significant pay increases from April 1:

Cheap and dirty – the evidence  is in on outsourced cleaning services

“Employees’ pay will increase from £10.55 to £11.28 an hour and they’ll get sick pay from the first day they’re ill. Workers will also be able to join the NHS pension scheme, which was previously unavailable to them as Sodexo staff.”

The deal follows on nine days of strike action at St Mary’s Hospital by members of United Voices of the World, and covers all support staff across the Trust’s five hospitals, Charing Cross, Hammersmith, St Mary’s, Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea, Western Eye.

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