The bosses in the NHS are receiving pay increases in excess of £5000 and bonuses worth tens of thousands of pounds, while the front-line medical staff are concerned about paying their normal bills.
According to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), salaries for NHS executive directors has been increased by around 6.1% over the past 24 months, while midwives, nurses and health visitors have only received an increase of 1.6%.
Half of the trusts in the NHS have awarded increases of a minimum of £5000 to one or more of its executive directors. These figures are based on freedom of information responses from about 126 NHS trusts.
On top of these high salaries, many executives are being paid huge bonuses, with two of them receiving bonuses worth at least £40000.
The RCN has stated that most nurses will not be given a cost of living increase during this year, and those who do, will get less than £5 per week. The college has criticised the government for not implementing a 1% pay increase for all NHS staff in England. The government rejected the 1% increase recommendation, stating that 1% will be available for employees who are not due to get an incremental pay increase.
According to unions, this decision will leave 70% of nurses facing a wage freeze for this year.
A poll done with 17000 nurses across the country found that 96% of them feel under-appreciated and undervalued. Around 83% said the decision by the government was causing anxiety regarding household bills and family finances. Around 67% stated that the wage ruling has made them consider leaving the NHS.
The Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, Dr Peter Carter, said that the findings in the report are another kick in the teeth for loyal and hard-working nursing staff. He said that it was very worrying that the government is of the opinion that trusts are acting in a responsible manner when it is quite clear that they are failing to show adequate leadership regarding remuneration for senior management.
Dr Carter added that government has maintained their iron grip on the salaries of front-line staff while leaving the pay bill of senior managers to go unchecked.
He said that this was the worst type of double standard and it makes a joke of the government’s insistence that fairness was the basis for their decision on salaries for the public sector.
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