First batch of unpaid wages delivered to patient transport staff

The first batch of unpaid wages owed to staff working in Sussex's patient transport service have been received.

GMB protests in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160920-151910008
GMB protests in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-160920-151910008

Docklands Medical Services, a sub-contractor for Coperforma, which took over the contract in April, went bust earlier this month leaving its employees out of pocket.

This week the GMB union confirmed that its members had finally received basic pay for August, due to the intervention of the High Weald Lewes Havens Clinical Commissioning Group, (CCG) who are the lead commissioners for the service.

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Gary Palmer, regional organiser for the GMB, 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.”

But he explained that they would continue to fight for the rest of the pay owed.

A spokesman for Coperforma said: “The management of Coperforma Limited has noted the statement issued by High Weald Lewes Havens CCG that unless the company paid the staff of Docklands Medical Services by Friday 23 September 2016 the commissioners would step in to pay them on 26th September.

“Coperforma has not made any payments because, as the commissioners’ statement confirms, these workers are not and were never employees of Coperforma.”

“We share the commissioners’ sympathy towards those individuals who have not received payment from Docklands and because of the apparent closure of their site in Sussex, we are seeking to assist in helping them by trying to engage with the GMB and by proposing to put Docklands employees in touch with other contractors who are looking for staff.

“Coperforma remains committed to continuing to provide all patients and hospitals in Sussex with the unrivalled patient transport service they are now receiving, and will firmly oppose any action designed to take it away from them.”

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