GMB call on Thames ambulance to step down from PTS contract

Download as PDF

GMB call on Thames Ambulance to step down from Sussex Patient Transport service as a contractor as cash flow problems leave staff with only part of their pay for the month.

Staff and GMB members working for the Sussex Patient transport service have been informed, one day before pay day, that their monthly pay will now be short as Thames have spilt salaries into two payments. Overtime, outstanding expenses and allowances which make up a significant part of the monthly pay of some of the lowest paid staff will be paid a week later.

Thames Ambulance blame cash flow problems on recent changes and lack of authorisation at their contracts in Sussex, Hull, and Basildon.

Staff were informed of this change by a letter which was simply left in the crew room and states:

Dear Colleague,

April Pay

We regret that we will need to split April’s total pay into two payments.

All staff will be paid their core basic contractual salary/wage on Friday 28th April 2017 as normal.

Staff who are due overtime or enhancements and allowances or expenses will be paid separately as early as possible the following week and by no later Friday 5th May 2017.

We sincerely apologise for the delayed payment of these additional sums due. This is due to unavoidable cash flow issues associated with this month’s contract changes in Hull, Sussex and Basildon and delayed payments due to retrospective authorisation.

We hope that by minimising the delay to no more than 4 working days that no one will suffer undue inconvenience.

Thank you for your tolerance and co-operation and again our apologies

Yours sincerely

Andy Tuke

Finance Director


We have been told by payroll that the salary you receive on Friday 28th will be your Gross amount with 33% deducted for tax/NI. By Friday 5th May this will all be adjusted/corrected and a further payment will be made along with any overtime you are expecting. Your payslip will not be sent until they have made the payrun next week so hopefully payslip will be here by next Friday.

This latest issue comes as some GMB members who have been employed directly by Thames are in the middle of an industrial action ballot in regard to broken company promises of an hourly rate rise after completion of training and probation periods. [See notes to editors for GMB press release on the consultative ballot at Thames Ambulance]

Gary Palmer GMB Regional Organiser said, “This news from Thames unfortunately brings back a horrible déjá vu feeling of the way the well documented troubles started with Coperforma’s infamous gold standard contractors VM Langfords and Docklands Medical services and their failings to pay staff in the end at all.

“Is it the Coperforma legacy or Thames Ambulance mismanagement that leaves staff concerned over missing pay”

“Everything in the way Thames have gone about this shows the contempt they hold for their hard working long suffering staff, as they are entirely responsible for operating within such fine profit margins that any delay and short falls in money coming in must immediately be passed on detrimentally to their employees.

“Letting staff know 1 day before pay day and the bank holiday weekend is disgraceful and inconsiderate, but to add insult to injury staff were informed by finding information just left in the crew room if they were lucky enough to actually be on shift. Others will only discover their pay short fall when they check their banks tomorrow or if colleagues message them to let them know. Just how disrespectful is that?

“Although nothing surprises me with Thames’s approach as they continue to destroy the moral of a highly skilled and committed work force by constant threat of disciplinaries and in refusing unfairly reasonable holidays over what appears to be the whole of the summer period and onwards. Once again it’s the staff having to suffer for mismanagement of the highest order.

“GMB will be looking for assurances from Thames and the CCG’s that both their ability to meet pay obligations in both the short and long term can be met, and that payments will be in people’s banks next week without fail, and that going forward all pay and pension payments are guaranteed to find their way into the accounts of staff on time and in full.”

Contact: Gary Palmer on 07552 165 950 or Charles Harrity on 07977 518 042

Notes to editors:

1) GMB Press release 9 March 2017