Ambulance drivers in East Sussex, who’ve been waiting eight weeks for their wages, have finally been paid.
The GMB Union’s confirmed the High Weald and Lewes Haven CCG has stepped into pay staff themselves, after Coperforma failed to foot the bill on Friday (23 September)
Gary Palmer GMB Regional Organiser said, “Finally, some good news for members, who have frankly been appallingly treated by an employer, they have been paid for the month of August.
“Pay, which they are lawfully entitled to from their employer has at last arrived, unfortunately not with the help of their employer and Coperforma who provisioned their use, and who also failed to carry out fit and proper due diligence upon them as providers for the PTS service in Sussex.
“The GMB have worked closely with the CCG’s to make this happen today, but it’s not the end of the road yet for staff and missing pay, we still have to make sure that staff will now be paid this Friday (30 September), which is the due date for September’s pay and following that we then have the chance to go through all the pay issues over the last 6 months to find the £1000’s of pounds still missing and owed to staff through non-payments of USH and overtime and unexplained unlawful deductions since as far back as mid-April, by both Coperforma and Docklands.
“What Both Docklands and Coperforma need to know is that the GMB will not leave these monies unpaid to our members and that we will vigorously pursue those that fail to pay our members and insist on its return robustly using any and all means available to us.
“What is also clear, is that Coperforma have brought the Sussex PTS contract into disrepute with the financial embarrassments and poor treatment of staff over a prolonged period to name just two points. There are many others and every one of them in their own right screams NON-Performa are unfit to provide such a vital public service to the patients of Sussex. As the fantastic, on-going public and cross party political support and pressure continues, we will finally rid ourselves of the Coperforma fiasco for good.”
Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell has responded saying, “I’m delighted the drivers have been paid by the CCG but I’m concerned it appears Coperforma have not been involved.
“Much credit should go to the GMB union for pressing hard to get this cash to people who have not received wages for two months and have suffered hardship as a consequence. The GMB has looked after its members in the finest traditions of the trade union movement.
“However, this can only be a stop-gap measure and the CCG must quickly get to the bottom of how these drivers are going to be paid each and every month for the valuable work they are doing.
“It needs to meet with Coperforma immediately and find out how this is going to happen and I will be seeking assurances from the CCG that this unacceptable situation will not be repeated.”