Pay hikes for senior hospital bosses in South Tyneside have been branded “shocking and disgusting” by health union leaders.
Salaries for six executives at South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust rose by at least £5,000 in the space of a year – between 2012/13 and last year, a shared cash boost of £50,000.
Trevor Johnston, who is head of health for the North East region for health union Unison, called for hospital bosses to limit their pay rises to the same one per cent increase being received by frontline NHS staff this year.
The trust says management pay increases were introduced because of a large increase in workload when community services in Gateshead and Sunderland became part of its remit.
Mike Robson, executive director of finance and corporate governance, saw his salary swell from between £115,000 and £120,000 to £120,000 to £125,000
Chief operating officer Helen Ray left her post in March last year but saw her final salary rise from between £105,000 to £110,000 to £115,000.
Fellow senior executives Steve Jamieson and Elaine Criddle enjoyed £5,000 pay boosts over the same period.
Trevor Johnston said:
“It is absolutely shocking and disgusting. These people have their own remuneration committee and award themselves big pay rises when frontline staff get very little.
“What conscience do they have when frontline staff got a one per cent rise for the coming year? Executives should be taking a one per cent rise as well.
“It is the frontline staff that are delivering services to patients.”
Health workers had planned to strike in January after the Government initially rejected a one per cent pay rise proposal by the NHS pay review body for England but the protest was called off to allow fresh negotiations to take place.
Glenn Turp, northern regional director for the Royal College of Nursing, says pay increases for health staff such as nurses and midwives is failing to keep up with those given to hospital management.
Mr Turp said:
“Our research showed that the amount spent on executive directors had increased by an average of six per cent, compared to a 1.6 per cent rise in earnings for nurses, midwives and health visitors.
“Nurses are continuing to feel the effects of austerity and the impact of the Government’s decision not to award them a pay increase for the last five years. Now is the time for more fairness and better pay for all NHS staff.”
Ian Frame, the trusts’s executive director of personnel and development, said:
“In July 2011, our Trust incorporated the community services from Sunderland and Gateshead into our organisation and, in doing so, doubled the size of the workforce, the operational turnover and the complexity of services provided.
“During 2012 we commissioned an external independent remuneration company, to compare the salary scales of managers who have Trust-wide responsibilities, with managers in other Trusts of comparable size and complexity. The outcome was that the existing salary scales were significantly less than our comparators.
“A revised salary scale was approved by the Trust`s Remuneration Committee (comprising Non-Executive Directors only), which accounts for the increases published in the Annual Reports, though the committee opted to phase the increases over a four year period, in order to reduce the immediatel financial impact.
“Executive director annual inflationary salary increases are directly linked to the national NHS pay awards, so they receive exactly the same inflationary increase as all other staff. Had the organisation not doubled in size and complexity, then the published increases would not have happened.
“Irrespective of the increases, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust chief executive and executive directors’ salaries are amongst the lowest in the North East.”
Outgoing Hospital boss Lorraine Lambert enjoyed a £25,000 pay boost in just one year – as “compensation” for withdrawing from an NHS pension scheme.
South Tyneside Hospital Foundation Trust says she had not been given a basic salary increase or bonus payment, but had received a lump sum payment after withdrawing from the NHS pension scheme.
A trust spokeswoman confirmed:
“As stated in our annual report, it was agreed that she should receive a compensatory sum equivalent to the employers’ pension contributions no longer payable due to her withdrawal from the pension scheme.
“We can confirm that this compensatory sum, which is taxable, is the sole reason for the total remuneration shifting into the higher banding and there was no additional cost to the trust.”
Mrs Lambert will retire from her role as chief executive of the trust in September.
Mrs Lambert has spent 20 years at South Tyneside District Hospital, in South Shields, with the last 18 in her current position.
Source – Shields Gazette, 13 Mar 2015
> What can you do when an employment tribunal finds you were being paid less than the minimum wage and awards you compensation… but the employer doesn’t pay up ? Very little, it seems…
A woman who was awarded thousands of pounds in compensation following a legal battle with town charity has given up ever getting her cash and is set to leave the town.
Lynda Gooding says she has simply “lost the fight” to get her money, and is so fed up with life in Hartlepool that she has put her house on the market.
She was awarded just under £9,000 in April last year after an employment tribunal heard she had worked for Manor Residents’ Association for almost three years on less than minimum wage.
More than 18 months after the ruling was made, mum-of-three Lynda is still to receive a penny from the charity.
“I’ve been waiting 18 months. Well they can keep their dirty money now.
“The house is up for sale, and the sooner I can get out of this town the better as far as I’m concerned. I’d move tomorrow.”
Lynda, who lives in Forfar Road with husband Kenny, a joiner for Housing Hartlepool, has not worked since leaving MRA in 2012.
She added: “Who is going to employ me?
“I’ve found myself at the centre of a row which became political through no fault of my own.
“The court ruled that the trustees owed money, and obviously the mayor was part of that board of trustees so all of a sudden it became a political issue.
“Then there was all the fuss over the charity, which doesn’t exist anymore, and all sorts of rumours were flying about over whether it was coming back under a new name or operating from somewhere else.
“It was just a complete mess, the trustees left one by one and there was nobody left to answer my questions.
“I never asked for that, all I’d done was take my employer to court and I won fair and square.
“It has played on my mind, I’ve been depressed, it’s amazing how much of an effect something like this can have on your sanity.
“But I’ve given up now, my fight is over. They were ordered to pay by a court and they haven’t paid. What else can I do?
“I feel let down, and question whether the tribunal was ever worth going through.
“If I’d known then what I know now, especially after what I witnessed at the council last Monday evening, then I wouldn’t have bothered.”
Lynda’s former colleagues Sharon Henderson, Carl Williams and Sue Harriman also won their own court battles, taking the total payout to more than £20,000.
The Charity Commission, which regulates charities in England and Wales, has since opened an inquiry into Manor Residents’ Association after concerns were raised about the way it was run.
At the time of the scandal the charity was run by Labour councillor Angie Wilcox, but she stood down from her role as a councillor before eventually leaving her role with MRA after being arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal and false accounting by fraud squad detectives.
She remains on bail while the inquiry continues.
Manor Residents’ Association has since ceased operating, and the organisation which has taken over the charity’s former building – Kilmarnock Road Children and Young People’s Family Resource Centre – has no links with it.
Source – Hartlepool Mail, 20 Oct 2014
A man went on a shoplifting spree after a foreign trip in search of work turned sour and he returned to Sunderland empty handed and in debt.
Sunderland magistrates were told how Ernest Bulmer Jenkins headed to Sweden last year hoping to find a job, but came home after a month to find his benefits had been stopped.
Because he had not been in touch with the authorities he was left with no income for seven months and was forced to borrow money to survive.
The 30-year-old has now been handed a three-month suspended prison sentence after turning to crime to repay his debts.
Prosecutor Jeanette Smith said Jenkins, , took £100-worth perfume from Debenhams on October 21.
He was arrested and released on bail, but on December 17, Jenkins pilfered £22.95 of meat from Hendon’s HJ Foodstores. Having been bailed again, he and two others went into Sainsbury’s in Silksworth Lane, on January 6, and took £410 of drinks.
None of the items were recovered, Mrs Smith added.
Bulmer admitted three counts of theft and asked for another three – relating to the theft of £285 from Boots – to be taken into consideration.
“Around eight or nine months ago, Mr Jenkins went to Sweden to stay with family members,” his solicitor Heather Bolton said.
“He was there for four weeks, but returned to Sunderland because he was unable to find work.
“He was sanctioned for not going to the benefits agency for that four weeks, the period when he was away. For seven or so months he’s had no income whatsoever.
“He was borrowing money from friends and acquaintances. He didn’t borrow from loan sharks, but he did have some pressure on him to repay his debt.”
The bench suspended the jail sentence for 12 months, and told Jenkins to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. and he was told to pay £322.95 in compensation, due to his limited means.
Source – Sunderland Echo 11 Feb 2014