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Date: 20 April 2009

Health contractors pocket staff pay increase

Glasgow health union UNISON today called on new NHS Glasgow and Clyde Chief Executive Robert Calderwood to intervene in a dispute over pay between the union’s members at Mearnskirk Hospital and private contractor Sodexho.

UNISON members are angry because Sodexho have withheld seven months of 2008’s pay increase from staff despite the sub-contractor receiving the full 12 month payment of 3.49% from the NHS.

UNISON Regional Organiser Matt McLaughlin said, “This is incredible. The NHS have given Sodexho the money for the pay rise, but they have decided that instead of paying staff, they will use it to boost their profit margins. This is a blatant misuse of public funds at the expense of some of the UK’s lowest paid workers and NHS bosses need to get this sorted out now.”

In a letter to staff, Sodexho’s Regional Operations Director, Stewart McDonald blames the recession and a lack of profitability in the Mearnskirk contract.

In response Matt McLaughlin said, “Our members are well aware that times are tough, but that does not excuse the actions of Sodexho who made millions in profit last year on the backs of low paid workers in the NHS and wider public sector. The fact remains that the NHS have paid them to increase their staff’s pay and they have kept it. If the company is so hard up for cash, or if the contract is so badly run, then maybe Sodexho should give it back to the NHS and public sector staff will run the contract.”


Note to Editors: Sodexho operates the domestic, catering and portering service at Mearnskirk as a sub contractor to Walker Timber.

For Further Information Please Contact: Matt McLaughlin (Regional Organiser) 07904 341 979(m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m)