It is as This Blog suggested yesterday: Jeremy Hunt (pictured) said he was offering junior doctors an 11 per cent pay rise, to fend off the possibility of strike action at the busiest time of the NHS year – but doctor’s aren’t stupid.
As This Writer suggested, they have done their sums and can demonstrate that Hunt’s offer is nothing more than a filthy con.
All he has done is further diminish himself in the opinions of anyone whose opinion is worth knowing. The best that can be said about this is, aren’t you glad he isn’t Chancellor of the Exchequer?
Here’s The Guardian, which broke the story of the pay offer yesterday, with the accounts of just two doctors who would be affected:
Take Dr Milo Hollingsworth. He’s a junior doctor working in the neurosurgery unit of North Bristol NHS Trust. As he explains: “I am paid £27k base salary for working 8-5pm Monday to Friday. I am paid a further 50% for working nights, weekends and bank holidays. I have worked every bank holiday of 2015. These changes would see my base pay increased to £29k but my out-of-hours pay cut [and] would leave me with a yearly income of £32k from next August; £8k less than this year.”
He adds: “We’ll be getting paid less for doing the same job working for a busier, less well-resourced health service, which is under the strain of inadequate care in the community and an expanding population, many of whom have increasingly complex health needs such as those surviving cancer and the elderly.”
Another junior doctor emailed to say: “Many junior doctors are angered and appalled at the way his offer is portrayed by him and also your article as an 11% increase in our salary. It is not. It is more like a 22% reduction in salary. This is because our salary includes a banding supplement, typically 50% of our basic pay, to pay for our compulsory unsocial hours (weekends, evenings and nights). These are not optional hours nor optional pay supplements; they are essential to normal NHS staffing.”
Like Hollingsworth, he sees a pay cut looming. “Mr Hunt’s proposal is to remove our banding (ie, reduce our total salary by 33%) and increase our basic pay by 11% – ie, a net reduction of 22%. Why should we take a pay cut and be asked to work more unsocial hours than we already do? We would like to see our families and friends as much as the next person. Is it too much to be remunerated properly to give up such time?”
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