Changes for colleagues who work in Sodexo-managed areas at med center

by Melissa Hoeman, Nebraska Medicine | November 11, 2019

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On Jan. 1, 2020, Nebraska Medical Center colleagues who work in the following areas/departments will become Sodexo employees:

  • Food and Nutrition;
  • Retail in Nebraska Cafe, Clarkson Cafe and Storz Deli;
  • Nebraska House;
  • Linen;
  • Wayfinding; and
  • Environmental Services.

Last week, leaders from Nebraska Medicine and Sodexo met with affected colleagues to notify them of this change.

"We know this is a significant change for our staff and we are actively working with Sodexo to make this transition as smooth as possible," said CEO Jim Linder, M.D. "These colleagues are integral members of the Nebraska Medicine and UNMC teams. Without this partnership, we cannot meet the needs of our patients, families, staff and students."

The current arrangement allows for Sodexo to oversee these departments, with Nebraska Medical Center colleagues reporting to Sodexo leadership on site. Staff at Bellevue Medical Center and Village Pointe already are Sodexo employees.

For decades, this has worked well for Nebraska Medicine, Sodexo and our patients. However, there are drawbacks to having colleagues working side by side but with different employers. This makes it difficult to be responsive to change and also creates inconsistency with hiring new colleagues, managing performance appraisals and creating a cohesive team.

Nebraska Medicine and Sodexo leadership determined it would be more effective if all colleagues were employed by the same organization moving forward. Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, approximately 430 colleagues from these areas at Nebraska Medical Center will become Sodexo employees. They will all be offered employment with Sodexo, which includes no reduction in pay and the ability to transfer their years of service and paid time off to Sodexo.

"This new arrangement will allow for additional career opportunities and flexibility that didn't exist before," said Ray Lee, executive director of Environmental and Food Services. "For example, we were able to use a chef from Elkhorn Public Schools this summer to help fill a need at Bellevue Medical Center. That's something that we couldn't have done at Nebraska Medical Center under the current arrangement."

Sodexo is a family-owned, international company which provides facilities management and food services to schools, universities, hospitals, senior living communities and event venues. It has 3,000 employees who provide services to 37 clients in Nebraska, which include corporate services, universities, health care, vending and school services.

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