Thames Ambulance fail to pay Redundancy to ex NHS PTS staff
“Staff now simply have no faith in Thames Ambulances Service Ltd guarantees, promises or assurances, they mean as little to ex-employees now, as they clearly do for the company when making the promises in the first place”, says GMB Southern
GMB have called on Sussex Clinical Commissioners to accept ownership of on-going issues regarding their support of the TUPE transfer to South Central Ambulance Service after Thames Ambulance Service Ltd failed to pay overdue redundancy payments to ex Sussex based employees.
GMB members, who were the last to be dismissed under redundancy procedures, had expected their already delayed redundancy payments the weekend before Christmas. Thames Ambulance Service Ltd had previously missed paying in total around £500,000 to the ex NHS frontline PTS staff in redundancy on the first agreed date in November. However, staff were informed yesterday (18th December), 2 days before staff expected the payments, that cash flow problems for the Spanish owned company meant that TASL are unable to pay the full redundancy for the remaining 17 staff at this time.
The company instead are informing staff that are going to stagger payments over a further three month period meaning ex staff will receive only 25% of the redundancy this Friday instead of everything owed, with a further 25% in January with the final 50% to be paid in February when cash flow for the company was expected to be better.
GMB Union now calling for written assurances that this service stays in house going forward with SCAS and any and all plans to procure services back into the private sector are halted immediately.
Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser said: “How often are GMB members and PTS Ambulance staff going to be punished in job losses and monies missing from the fallout from the Sussex clinical commissioners disastrous Patient Transport Service privatisation program?
“Just ask GMB members how successful they feel Sussex PTS privatisation has been right now.
“This has now become a real trust issue for angry ex Thames staff, they were guaranteed their redundancy payments for the end of November, that date came and passed with Thames Ambulance apologising that an admin error meant that they were going to pay monies owed on December the 20th guaranteed and without fail.
“It now appears that this is once again not going to happen and the staged payment offer by Thames Ambulance is once again signed off as guaranteed offer.
“Staff now simply has no faith in Thames Ambulances Service Ltd guarantees, promises or assurances, they mean as little to ex-employees now, as they clear do for the company when making the promises in the first place.
“They simply want what they are legally entitled to and within timeframe requirements.
“They want their money!
“I have asked our legal department as to the best way to lodge protective claims against TASL and its assets in case of news confirming ex staff concerns that the company is in real financial trouble, to ensure monies owed becomes monies paid.
“GMB have also reminded the company that having such numerous claims lodged in courts could impinge upon their ability to both procure further work in the NHS and possibly affect current provisions. I would of course also have mentioned to them that they were risking ruining their professional reputation with this matter but unfortunately for them in Sussex that boat sailed a long, long time ago.
“I have also informed the County’s Clinical Commissioners, that GMB members will expect should TASL not make payments as promised, to pick up those losses be them redundancy or pensions contributions and as in the similar case of the Coperforma ltd and Docklands Ambulance bailouts and make good all losses to GMB members and TASL staff.”
Contact: Gary Palmer 07552 165950 or GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114762