BMA calls on Hunt to think again on NHS pay

24 Mar 14

Doctors’ leaders have urged Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt to reconsider his decision to not offer an annual pay increase to those NHS staff in line for higher wages through job progression

The British Medical Association said Hunt’s decision to combine the annual ‘cost of living’ pay increase with experience-related incremental rises was misplaced.

Following Hunt’s announcement earlier this month that the annual 1% rise would be denied to staff receiving a pay boost based on time served, some NHS trade unions warned they would consider industrial action. 

Now Dr Mark Porter, chair of the BMA council, has written to the health secretary to express ‘the deep sense of outrage felt by many doctors at the decision of the Department of Health not to implement the recommendation of the review body on doctors’ and dentists’ remuneration for a 1% uplift in basic pay’.

Porter said the increase had been recommended for all staff in addition to any increases based on progression. The review body stated incremental increases should not be offset against the annual award, he added, as this ‘would undermine the fundamental principle on which incremental pay scales are currently based’.

Hunt’s ‘deliberate conflation’ of pay progression and cost-of-living should be reversed.

‘Leaving aside the fact that a 1% uplift would in no way keep pace with the increases in the cost of living, incremental pay progression is designed to address a very different set of issues,’ Porter’s March 21 letter stated.

‘Pay progression is required to recognise learning and development in a role. Doctors gain more experience and responsibility over time and incremental progression arrangements for consultants, in particular, is a measure to control costs, building in a series of extended periods before they reach the full rate for the job.

‘I hope that you understand the depth of feeling among doctors on this matter and I would urge you to reconsider your decision.’

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