END the pay freeze for midwives and give them the same percentage pay increase as managers, the Royal College of Midwives has demanded, in response to figures that show that 48 NHS senior managers are receiving an annual wage of £142,500 a year.
Their sister union, the Royal College of Nurses, has also responded to the figures, demanding that nurses and other frontline staff be valued equally to management.
The RCM and the RCM were responding to a request made to NHS England to supply the details of the highest earners.
The figures have revealed that the highest earner working for the NHS is David Nicholson – the chief executive who is responsible for pushing through the savage cuts and privatisation – he earns a whopping £211,249 a year.
Jon Skewes, director for policy, employment relations and communications at the Royal College of Midwives, said: ‘This is evidence of the stark inequality in the NHS between those in senior management positions and frontline midwives and other NHS staff.
‘It shows that there is one rule for some, and one rule for the vast majority of NHS staff. George Osborne has said that no midwife, nurse or doctor should get an increase of more than 1% – but not the senior staff it seems.
‘NHS Employers are arguing for no increase at all for NHS staff at a time when inflation is over 3%.
‘Midwives have suffered pay freezes, increased pension payments and attacks on their terms and conditions and this is just one more slap in the face, which suggests that the efforts, skill and dedication of NHS staff are of less value than those higher up the chain.
‘NHS bosses are not true leaders unless they ensure that their staff get at least the same increases as they do.’
Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN, said: ‘Frontline health care staff work exceptionally hard in difficult circumstances to care for patients with limited resources, and these figures will send completely the wrong message about how much their contribution is valued.
‘It is not too much to ask that nurses and other frontline staff who do so much to keep the NHS afloat in increasingly difficult circumstances are treated the same as their management colleagues.
‘We are hearing time and again from nurses who are struggling to keep their heads above water financially as their pay falls far behind inflation, and finding out that already well paid senior staff are enjoying these pay rises, will be extremely demoralising.
‘Managers should be leading by example; however, these figures simply give the impression that frontline staff are not valued as highly as management.’