From the TUC

Managers support the campaign for fair pay in the NHS

05 Jun 2014, by Guest in Public services

NHS managers, like other members of the healthcare team, are feeling demoralised by the Government’s refusal to accept the recommendations of the pay review bodies. They also know that unless we get fair pay it will get more and more difficult to recruit and retain skilled and compassionate healthcare workers.

So fair pay is not just good for the dedicated team of healthcare workers, it makes sound business sense too.

Those on Very Senior Managers pay, covered by the Senior Salaries Review Body, were told they had to ‘lead by example’ and got no pay rise at all this year. They are on spot salaries, so don’t get an incremental rise either. Managers know that they are relatively well-paid, but do think they deserve some recognition for the hard work they do, at least to cover cost of living increases.

MiP members agree that fair pay starts with the Living Wage and that pay awards should be weighted towards the lower paid members of the team to bring all NHS staff above the Living Wage threshold (currently £7.65 per hour).

NHS managers have been delivering for the Government by making efficiency savings year on year, driving up quality and driving down costs, driving through re-organisations of complex services and systems only to be told they are not worthy of a cost of living pay increase.

NHS managers’ take home pay has reduced sharply since 2010. Pension contributions have gone up for three consecutive years, with some members now paying more towards pensions than their employers. Members are also paying more in tax.

At the same time the Government has wasted millions of pounds making thousands of skilled and experienced managers redundant. The managers who are left are taking on more and more duties and work. The Government has also been working hard to denigrate NHS managers.

One senior manager pointed out that he had not had a salary rise for four years, and then got just 1% last year. In effect he has had around an 18% reduction in his living standards, despite being rated at a superior performance standard.

If staff are not valued through their pay packet this will have a detrimental impact on recruitment and retention, causing staff shortages and meaning that organisations have to resort to more expensive agency staff to plug the gaps, or run with below adequate staffing, putting patient safety at risk.

The government’s pay policy is not sustainable at a time when the economy is picking up. Staff will vote with their feet or lose the good will, the many extra hours staff give for free, on which the NHS depends.

Follow today’s day of action on NHS pay at alltogetherforthenhs.org