Sodexo healthcare workers secure lump sum victory

The one-off payment is worth at least £1,655 for full-time health workers

Sodexo strikers on the picket line

More than 300 hospital workers in North Devon are celebrating after their employer, Sodexo, committed to paying the lump sum from last year’s NHS pay award.

The one-off payment is worth at least £1,655 for full-time health workers, including porters, domestics, sterile services and catering staff working in the NHS.

Sodexo applied for funding for the pay deal from the Department of Health and Social Care and has written to UNISON to say that its application for funding had been successful.

Staff took two days of strike action in February over the company’s previous refusal to honour the payment, already given to health workers employed directly by the NHS in June.

Later that month, Sodexo offered to pay 80% of the sum while they awaited news on their application. UNISON members voted to suspend planned action for March and accepted their offer.

The successful application to the Department of Health and Social Care now means they’ll receive the final 20% of the lump sum in their April pay packet.

UNISON South West regional secretary Kerry Baigent said: “This victory shows the strength of collective action. These healthcare workers knew what they were entitled to and stood strong to get it.

“Hundreds of staff standing on the picket line created pressure that focused the minds of Sodexo executives and resulted in staff accepting an offer for 80% of the lump sum. Now, after this decision, they’ll be getting 100%.

“But Sodexo generates huge profits and had the ability to pay its staff all along. It could have easily avoided these strikes.

”In 2025, Sodexo’s contract for the service is up for renewal. It’s time our members are brought back in house alongside their NHS colleagues where they belong.”