Despite promises made earlier this week, that non-urgent patient transport drivers in Eastbourne would be paid by the end of Wednesday (7 September), many are still without their pay this morning (10 September).
When Eastbourne Buzz spoke to them, High Weald Lewes Haven CCG said they had been assured by the employers, that staff would be paid what was owed to them that day (being Wednesday). However, several staff members in Eastbourne are now nine days overdue their salaries and many more who have received some money, are still short of their full pay package.
Across Sussex, non-urgent patient transport is run by Coperforma, who subcontract the service out to other firms, including Docklands in Eastbourne and the surrounds.
Gary Palmer from the GMB Union said, “Docklands have to accept their responsibility to staff, these failures to pay wages along with their shoddy business practices are not a firm basis for success, in fact it bares all the signs similar to VM Langfords (the previous transport contractor to Coperforma) in the weeks leading up to their collapse. Coperforma sat quietly by and let that happen without a care for the effect on the service, patients and staff. It appears they are going to take the same approach with Docklands and the fact, that our members will again bear the brunt of the impending disaster, after doing nothing but their best to make the provision work from day one. The CCG must act now and support in action what they've promised in words. Time for Non-Performa to go and please take Docklands with you.”
On speaking to drivers earlier this week, Eastbourne Buzz was told some are now facing having to sell their homes and others are having to borrow from friends and family in order to pay their bills.