4 April 2014
Settlement is a massive victory for members and will end the unfair two tier workforce on this contract says GMB
GMB has called off strike action due from Friday 4th April 2014 by 150 GMB members employed by Compass (Medirest) at Ealing NHS Hospital Trust in London after members accepted a new offer following talks yesterday with the company and the Trust.
The new offer accepted by the members is as follows:
· Increase in the hourly rate from £6.31 to £7.31 per hour, effective 1/4/2014. This equates to a 16% increase.
· Two additional days leave effective from 1/4/2014
· Harmonisation of pay rates across the Trust from April 2015. This should deliver an hourly rate between £9.10 and £9.30 per hour.
The members are employed as domestic, catering, porters and help desk workers.
Worker taken on by Compass after the work was outsourced were offered lower terms and conditions than comparable NHS staff or those transferred under TUPE to this contract. This had led to a two tier workforce as Compass did not pay NHS pay rates or conditions. This gave rise to a 44% pay gap between £6.31 and the lowest comparable NHS rate in London of £9.10 per hour. There were eleven days of strike action in this dispute. Over 98% voted in an official ballot to take strike action.
GMB is still involved in a second dispute with Compass in the public sector. GMB members employed by Compass as chefs in schools across East Sussex will be balloted for strike action unless a 9% cut in pay – a potential loss of £720 per year on a salary of less than £8,000- is withdrawn.
Compass is the world’s biggest catering firm. It employs more than 500,000 people in over 50 countries. It had turnover of £17.5billion and profits of £720m. Compass Group UK & Ireland has over 60,000 employees and works in over 10,000 client sites with over £1.9bn turnover.
Bhimraj Rai, GMB Medirest senior representative, said “We are very pleased with the outcome. It has been a long hard fight and GMB members have stuck together throughout the dispute. We never wanted to take strike action but when our employer would not entertain our claim then we had no option other than to strike.”
Payal Paul, GMB Medirest representative, said “This settlement is a massive victory for the GMB members and will end the unfair two tier workforce on this contract. We are very thankful to our union for supporting us. Others have said they can deliver but it is the GMB who have made it happen. At last we are moving in the right direction”
Stella George-Duesbury, GMB Regional Organiser, said” It has been a pleasure to work alongside and support our members and representatives at Medirest, Ealing Hospital. Their commitment and unity in addressing their claim has resulted in better pay and conditions. Despite some of the tactics used by management the members remained strong and resolute.
The key to the end result was in mobilising and increasing the number of members to be able to have a voice that would be heard. There were six GMB member eighteen months ago. The number now exceeds 150. This gave the members the ability and confidence to negotiate and eventually win this dispute. We are sure the remaining employees will now see the benefit of joining GMB a strong and campaigning union”.