Sunday, 14 March 2010

Senior NHS Management Bonuses Axed

Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Health Secretary, has upset senior NHS staff by terminating their bonuses.

The move to end the performance-related bonuses is targeted at health service employees who earn between £43,000 and £173,000 a year. What post is worth £173,000 a year within the NHS? Surely, apart from very senior clinicians, no individual should be earning that amount of money for an administrative job?

About 1,300 NHS staff in Scotland - less than 1% of the workforce - are covered by the 'non-consolidated payments' scheme.

Claire Pullar, the national officer of Scotland for Managers in Partnership, the trade union for senior and executive NHS managers, said: "This bonus was perceived as something clearly earned through hard work. The decision is disappointing, demoralising and it won't save money in the way people think it will save money. The Cabinet Secretary did not consult our members."

NHS senior and executive managers have their own union. How very interesting but not entirely surprising. Ms Pullar sounds a little put out at not being consulted by the health secretary but I can understand why Ms Sturgeon gave the union a body swerve. 'Negotiations'
would have been lengthy and possibly unproductive.

A good start to ridding ourselves of this 'bonus culture' which has infiltrated public services over the years. People should be paid a fair salary for a fair day's work and nobody should receive extra money for ticking more boxes than expected. It may well be the beginning of the end of the tick-box culture within the NHS and that would be welcomed by many.


Dramfineday said...

"A good start to ridding ourselves of this 'bonus culture' which has infiltrated public services over the years. People should be paid a fair salary for a fair day's work and nobody should receive extra money for ticking more boxes than expected" - hear, hear!

subrosa said...

Thanks Dram. Hopefully this is only the start.

CrazyDaisy said...


2* Officers and above receive no payrise each year they are paid according to performance which is why the ones I know end up working 60+ hrs a week, his bonus equates to 5-10k but they only have a short window unlike others!

Time to treat all us public servants the same from sailor to Admiral to MP to PM. None should receive bonus payments all should be salaried and graded according to responsibilty experience and workload.

Common sense prevails in the Scottish Government.


subrosa said...

You're right CD. The old civil service pay structure was well thought out and as fair as it could be. Then of course various governments have amended it to attract votes.

Not the Messiah said...

Has Jeff Breslin been silenced by the media after he pulled a recent blog post calling into question the response to Alan Clayton's rambling questions regarding the events surrounding Steven Purcell's resignation?

Anonymous said...

Well done Nicola.

What a brilliant minister this woman has turned out to be.

I suspect that they will all talk about the fact that they could get bonuses if they were in the Private Sector. If they do, I trust Ms Sturgeon will show them there the door is, and then give their fat cat well padded useless arses a good kick through it.

They couldn't manage to punch their way through a wet paper bag...

Andrew_S said...

hi SR,

not sure this is "bonus" payments which are being "cut", it might refer to the performance related pay system. Take a look a this which might help. On the other hand, it might confuse completely as it's not easy to understand.

I see from that it's actually an organisation set up by Unison. It's got a London phone number, using an 0845 for the voice number is OK, but having an 0207 for the fax kind of gives the game away - as well as the London address. I wonder how many members it's got in Scotland? It would be interesting to consider conflict of interest issues which may arise for any NHS manager/exec who has to enter negotiations with Unison if said manager was to be part of the broader membership of that same union.

I agree totally with tris post - that anyone in the NHS (and inded broader public sector) who thinks they're worth the six figure salaries, because that's what the private sector pays, should be told to get out there and prove it. It might be sufficent to do it to one or two - simply pour encourager les autres.

I also agree that Ms Sturgeon is doing a great job. She really is making a difference. More power to her elbow!

subrosa said...

I've no idea at all Not the Messiah. I would have thought he'd have posted a reason why he's deleted a post but maybe he doesn't blog that way.

subrosa said...

Aye, she's doing a braw job Tris.

subrosa said...

Hi Andrew. I'm grateful for your research into this union and the interesting details you've uncovered. Why do NHS management need a separate union to other NHS employees?

The old adage about you pay peanuts and get monkeys is nonsense, as we know from the quality of some of our politicians.

Clarinda said...

"clearly earned through hard work" - doing what exactly?

In my experience NHS management spent too much time making clinical life unnecessarily torpid and complex in order to fulfill political opportunism or the latest managerial wheeze - neither of which I doubt have ever been ultimately responsible for any worthy medical innovation.

A great start - but it would be even better tied to eliminating political interference - that would be a bonus worth introducing.

Catosays said...

I've always been confused by 'bonuses'.

You take a job and the salary is spelt out...

What's with the bonus then?

subrosa said...

Clarinda, did you have the strength to watch Gordon Brown on the Politics Show today? It was excruciating his drivel about the NHS.

subrosa said...

Me too Cato. I notice the military don't get bonuses.

They're a politicial mechanism to ensure folk vote for labour.

Unfortunately most folk go along with it instead of saying I'm worth a proper salary, not a tombola one.

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