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To: City University President and Council

No compulsory catering redundancies at City University

Dear President Curran and City University Council,

As students and staff of City, University of London and City's wider community, we join UNISON in calling on you to ensure there are no compulsory redundancies in catering at City University.

Furthermore, we ask you act to ensure:

- enhanced voluntary redundancy payments are offered to catering staff
- pay protection for any staff who stay on in the new structure
- terms and conditions are also protected
- the redundancy and restructuring consultation is conducted in a manner that is transparent and easy for the staff to understand, so that they can be meaningfully consulted.

Catering staff are a core part of the City community. Their years of service to students and fellow staff have helped make our University the great place where we study or work. Caterers may not be employed directly by City but to us that makes no difference. Catering staff deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as anyone else in our community.

It is wrong that they face redundancy when no other staff at City have their jobs under threat. It is wrong they are not being offered enhanced voluntary redundancy terms, pay protection and terms and conditions protection, as staff directly employed by City would expect.

City took the decision to outsource catering staff to a private contractor like Sodexo and it is your responsibility to make sure that Sodexo treats City catering staff just as City would treat any other employees.

Why is this important?

City University outsourced catering services to the multi-billion, multi-national company Sodexo. Because of the impact of the pandemic, City has told Sodexo catering services at the University need to be cut massively. And so Sodexo plan to make up to half of the contracted catering staff at City redundant.

Catering staff at City are majority women and overwhelmingly people of colour or migrant workers. They are the most diverse group of staff working at our University.

Other staff at City are not being threatened with redundancy. It is unfair and unjust that catering staff, because City does not employ them directly, are being targeted for "cost savings".

Sodexo is not offering any kind of enhanced redundancy payments. They are only offering the statutory minimum. This means some staff will be excluded from receiving any redundancy pay; others will have the redundancy payment capped at a very low level - three times less than the amount City would use when calculating redundancy.

For any staff who stay working at City, they will have to accept pay cuts, worse holidays, worse sick pay and worse other terms and conditions.

At the beginning of possibly the worst financial crisis in living memory and the greatest public health threat in a century, catering staff and their families face being left unemployed or underpaid.

City took the decision to outsource catering staff to a private contractor like Sodexo. The University is responsible for making sure that Sodexo treats City catering staff with the respect they deserve.

London, UK

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • People’s livelihoods are at stake - if they lose their jobs in the current crisis, there are few prospects for them to find another job any time soon.
  • Staff should be treated fairly no matter the circumstances. In this particular instance give them what they deserve
  • City should look after all staff equally


2020-10-10 12:32:01 +0100

500 signatures reached

2020-10-02 13:46:59 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-10-02 12:52:52 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-10-02 11:42:01 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-10-02 09:45:29 +0100

10 signatures reached