Thames Ambulance say pension schemes responsible for missed payments

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GMB members today have to consider Thames Ambulance response and how they get the evidence which shows that payments from past and present staff have been made into the relevant pension scheme.

As of yesterday, 31 January 2017, both schemes were still informing members that payments had not been received or credited to their individual schemes. 

Yesterday’s press release Thames Ambulance Service Ltd (TASL) on the Ambulance Today web site [see notes to editors for statement] was aimed at explaining the issue, in that they (Thames) had in fact made all the payments, but that both the pension agency NEST and NHS pensions in one form or another had failed to claim them and transfer them to the respective individual pensions.
Gary Palmer GMB Organiser said,

“GMB are pleased that Thames have made such a strong assurance and guarantee that they have not deliberately or inadvertently withheld staff pension payments and that it’s the fault of the pension providers themselves. 

“It’s only a pity they didn’t pursue the Pension provider to ensure that payments were in fact finding their way to individual accounts earlier as our members have been worried sick, and rightly so when every enquiry from their pension providers is met with a no payments received reply. 

“We very strongly refute the claim from Thames that GMB have undermined employee relations by simply raising our members serious concerns, especially in light of their ex-SECAmb colleagues pension experiences at Docklands. 

“If they would like to be open and honest, they would have to admit staff morale is probably at its lowest with recent events like the pre-Christmas threat of staff redundancies, along with the current on-going disputes of broken pay rate rise commitment promises where a number of staff are now threatened with dismissal and re-engagement if they don’t accept new contracts and about not getting paid contractual correctly for their contracted hours.

“All in all our members are telling us they certainly don’t feel appreciated or valued, despite all the hard work they have put in throughout Thames fractious and uncertain relationship with Coperforma over the last 12 months. Every member of staff wondered if that if Thames didn’t get paid then would they have work the next month.
Hopefully, Thames will now work hard with GMB to repair the poor employee relations of their own making and support each member of staff’s pension enquiry being resolved. Staff still have no idea where or who has their pension money.”
Contact: Gary Palmer on 07552 165950; Paul Maloney on 07801 343839 or Michelle Gordon on 07866 369259

Notes to editors:

TASL statement on Ambulance Today dated 31 January 2017