UNISON Northern Ireland


UNISON is aware that Mount Charles have commenced a 30 day consultation process on redundancies for staff fulfilling the catering contract the company has with Ulster University at its Belfast, Jordanstown and Coleraine campuses. We are very concerned for our members’ jobs and are demanding that both Mount Charles and Ulster University urgently take steps to protect their employment.

Commenting on this development, UNISON Regional Organiser Marianne Buick said:
‘‘Our members are extremely anxious and fearful of what the next few weeks will bring. Seven years ago Ulster University outsourced its catering to Mount Charles despite our opposition. We feared that this would lead to our members’ employment becoming more precarious and unfortunately this now appears to be coming to pass.

Since the middle of March all staff have been furloughed, receiving 80% of their pay. Mount Charles have now begun the process of consultation on redundancies with the workforce because they are concerned over uncertainty in their catering contract with the University given the ongoing Covid-19 situation. This is an unacceptable state of affairs that is leaving our members as piggy in the middle between the University and Mount Charles.

UNISON is demanding that both Ulster University and Mount Charles take all steps to protect our members from the threat of redundancy. Ulster University must engage with UNISON immediately to clarify the situation in relation to catering across the 3 sites.

Ulster University should remember that many of the workers affected have given considerable service to the University, including as directly employed workers before being outsourced to Mount Charles. They provide a vital service and the University cannot abandon them now.

UNISON has been calling for several years for the catering service to be brought back into the University. This should now be done to protect people’s livelihoods and the catering service itself.’’