SODEXO DISPUTES REACH THE NNC AT LAST
Our top priority over the last few weeks has been the ongoing dialogue with senior Sodexo management about their offer of an Enhanced Voluntary Redundancy Scheme (EVR) which was supposed to shield the 600 staff who have been deemed as surplus to requirements from the possibility of being made compulsorily redundant (that’s sacked in everyday language).
Surplus to requirements: it has a dreadful ring to it doesn't it? Being in the frame to no longer be able to continue the career you entered many years ago which, through no fault of your own, is quite likely to be taken away because the new contractor who now owns your employer a) did not know how many staff it was inheriting and b) claim they cannot afford the terms of voluntary redundancy. Leaving aside the incredulity factor, both of these are fundamental issues that would have been very clear to anyone with half an idea about how to structure a competitive tender. What we now have is a classic blame game between the contractors and the MoJ about what they were being sold (see earlier posting: 'Salting the Mine') which again highlights another aspect of why TR has been and will continue to be an unmitigated disaster.
I will leave it there in advance of tomorrow’s meeting of the NNC Joint Secretaries where the parties will be discussing the two disputes that were registered earlier this year in South Yorkshire and Northumbria CRC's over EVR and the job cuts. The outcomes will be reported to Sodexo reps next week and we are currently considering how we can best consult with our members in all the Sodexo owned CRC's at the earliest opportunity.
Of course the whole farcical situation has been brought about by Graylings ideological reforms that have not only caused such serious uncertainty among Sodexo owned CRC staff but which were the genesis for the creation of the NPS which is creaking at the seams and which, one year on, still cannot demonstrate that it knows whether it is paying its staff correctly, and, as all too many members can claim from bitter experience - sometimes not at all.
Shared Service Problems
A good opportunity then to ask frustrated Napo members who have been suffering with pay problems to appreciate that these are not Napo's fault and that we have been (and are) throwing as much in the way of resources as we can into trying to get involved in personal cases that have been referred to us. Dean Rogers has a substantial number of members on his books in addition to his other equally important responsibilities and is working extremely hard to assist.
The reality is that this commitment of resources to helping people in difficulty is unfortunately no longer a shared one; since the NOMS specialist who was working with us on these cases has not had their contract extended. The other major factor is that the Shared Services division is in private ownership following its outsourcing to Steria (another wizard decision by the unlamented former Secretary of State for Justice) and guess what? They also plead that they didn't know what they were buying which also has a familiar (as well as dreadful) ring to it.
We will be issuing a separate update next week on the current situation and how we have been raising these problems at the highest levels.
More news to follow on Friday.