Victory for Doncaster Royal Infirmary catering staff as firm agrees to honour NHS pay deal

Catering staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary have reached agreement with their employers over a pay row which led to 70 of them walking out on strike.

After two days of industrial action, employer Sodexo have reached agreement with Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS foundation trust to honour a pay deal agreed nationally with NHS staff in full.

Strikers from the union Unison at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

Strikers from the union Unison at Doncaster Royal Infirmary.

The staff, who were mostly low-paid women in catering and service roles in the trust, were formerly NHS workers but were moved to the private Sodexo firm in January 2018.

However, the company previously said it could not fulfill the so-called ‘Agenda for Change’ pay deal without more Government funding.

UNISON organiser, Sue Cookman, said: "We need to agree some finer details with Sodexo later on this morning, but I am delighted that an agreement has been reached.

"This is down to the sheer determination of these members UNISON and GMB, that they will stand together to fight for what they are owed.

"The energy and enthusiasm on the picket lines at Montagu and Bassetlaw hospitals and Doncaster Royal Infirmary has been amazing, and the support from the public has been heartwarming.

“These workers are NHS workers through and through, their commitment to the NHS is unwavering, no matter who employs them.

"The government needs to properly fund the NHS pay deal for all NHS workers including those who have been outsourced."

A spokesperson for Sodexo said: “We are pleased that following further talks with the Trust we have reached an agreement which enables us to implement the 2018 Agenda for Change pay rates for our team at Doncaster & Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals.

“The new pay rates are effective from 1 April 2018 and will be implemented by the end of June 2019 along with a one-off payment for the back dated pay difference since 1 April 2018.

“We would like to thank our team for their continued hard work in ensuring the standard of care for patients is maintained.”

A spokesperson from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals said: "Ensuring colleagues are treated fairly and with respect is intrinsic to the values we hold as a Trust.

“As such we are pleased that we have been able to work with Sodexo to achieve a satisfactory resolution which ends this action.

"​We also want to thank colleagues who have worked hard to ensure disruption to patient services has been kept to a minimum throughout the past few days."​