A HEALTH trust has defended a £15,000 pay rise for one of its chiefs – while nursing staff are only being awarded an extra £5 a week.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has hit out at a hike in wages for senior health trust officials across the country.
These include that of Julie Gillon, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s chief operating officer/deputy chief executive, whose pay rose from the £115,000-£120,000 pay bracket in 2011/12 to the £130,000-£135,000 bracket in 2012/13.
The RCN say trust chiefs have had an average 6.1 per cent rise over the past two years, compared to a 1.6 per cent rise in earnings for nurses, midwives or health visitors.
But a spokeswoman for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said Ms Gallon’s pay reflected her taking on extra work after another senior executive left.
The spokeswoman said: “Following the departure of the then deputy chief executive in summer 2012, we redistributed the work done by that individual and we did not replace the post.
“This meant we are able to reduce the numbers of executives and the executive pay bill.
“Julie Gillon took on additional duties and responsibilities, including that of being deputy chief executive and, following a discussion at the trust’s remuneration committee, her pay was increased to reflect this.”
The RCN has published a report called “All in it together? The Executive pay bill in England’s NHS”, after slamming the Government’s decision not to introduce a one per cent pay rise for nurses.
The RCN says this is in contrast to what its research shows as 50 per cent of trusts awarded increases of at least £5,000 to managers.
Peter Carter, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: “The findings in this report are yet another kick in the teeth for hardworking and loyal nursing staff.
“The Government has maintained an iron grip on the pay and benefits of frontline staff whilst the senior managers pay bill has seemingly gone unchecked.”
He added: “This is the worst kind of double standard and makes a mockery of their insistence that fairness has been at the heart of their decision making on public sector pay.”