31 October 2017
UNISON today called on the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) responsible for awarding the failed contract to Private Ambulance Services Ltd (PAS) to pay staff the wages they have lost as a result of the company going bust.
PAS Ltd were put into administration last month owing staff several weeks wages and holiday pay. It is unlikely they will be able to recover the money from the administrators of the company.
UNISON regional secretary Chris Jenkinson said,
“UNISON believes the CCG’s have a moral responsibility to these workers. The contract was awarded to PAS despite very real concerns about their ability to deliver the contract or guarantees over their financial stability. As a result some staff have lost hundreds of pounds in wages will little chance of getting back what’s owed to them.
“CCG’s should commit to making good the earnings that are not recoverable and to making available advance payment to avoid people suffering financial hardship.”
Four former PAS workers, who asked to remain anonymous, said,
“I was not paid for two months. I tried to contact the company with no response. I have been forced to sell my belongings to pay my bills, but I have had to rely on staff at the local hospital who were kind enough to give me lunch. I am in great financial difficulty and this has caused me anxiety and stress. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before in my 12 years service.”
“My 71 year old mother is currently giving me money each week for food shopping and she only receives a state pension, do you know how demoralising that is? I have been so stressed in the seven months since PAS took over and now the future does not look any brighter. I’m lucky if I get five hours sleep a night before I have to work a 10 hour shift.”
“I personally think the CCG’s are as guilty as PAS. They are currently paying other providers extortionate amounts to do a job my colleagues and I are contracted to do. If they can do that, I think they should be accountable for the monies we have not been paid by PAS.”
“It was only when I returned from holiday that I learned that PAS had gone into administration and it was unlikely I would get paid. This has caused a further burden on my finances. PAS had already refused to pay me sick pay after I had whiplash, so I was already nearly £2000 down before PAS called in the administrators. Due to not receiving occupational sick pay, I had to come back to work a lot earlier than I should have done and before my neck had fully healed.”