GMB ballot members in Sussex patient transport

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GMB ballot members in Sussex patient transport service over unpaid back pay.

This is yet another blow to GMB members who have been treated abysmally since Coperforma took over this ill-fated contract on April 1st says GMB

GMB, the union for workers in the ambulance service, has begun a ballot of members in patient transport at Docklands Medical Services in Sussex over the employer’s failure to pay an estimated £45,000 in overtime and unsocial hours payments. 

Both Dockland’s and subcontractor Coperforma have repeatedly promised to honour all staff liabilities including outstanding back pay, holiday pay and pension contributions but are now saying that employees may have to wait as long as six months to receive payment.

Dockland Medical Services took up patient transport service provision in East and West Sussex from the 28th of June after the previous provider, VM Langfords, went into administration, leaving staff jobless and patients without appropriate care.

The consultative ballot ends on Friday 29th and will ask members what action they are willing to take to ensure that their employer pays staff what they are owed. 

Gary Palmer GMB Regional Organiser said “This is yet another blow to GMB members who have been treated abysmally since Coperforma took over this ill-fated contract back in April. 

Staff were transferred out of the NHS against their wishes to an inexperienced company who were always going to struggle with the size of the contract. Three months later, the staff endured yet more uncertainty as their employer, VM Langfords, became insolvent potentially leaving staff without jobs.

Workers were then moved again to Docklands Medical Services with the promise that all outstanding pay and pension contributions would be forthcoming. Now, only one month on, staff have had yet another slap in the face as promises to settle outstanding pay have come to nothing as Coperforma attempts to draw out paying staff what they are owed.

Until now, GMB members have been happy to focus on delivering the best service they can, despite the efforts of Coperforma and Langfords to pull the rug from under their feet, ruining what was once a reliable and professional service in Sussex.  

The staff’s patience has now worn thin and GMB members are understandably unwilling to wait for six months to get the money they are owed with the memory of their last employer’s liquidation still fresh in their minds.

The time has come for GMB members to take action and this ballot must send a clear message from them to Coperforma: We have done right by you throughout this fiasco so do right by us now and pay us what we are owed.”


Contact: Gary Palmer on 07552165950, Charles Harrity on 07977518042 or GMB press office on 07970 863411