Eleven new finance jobs worth at least £400,000 have been advertised at a health trust – days after nearly 40 staff in the same department were told their jobs are to go.
The move has angered the workers facing redundancy, who today described it as “just another smack in the face”.
If the 11 new staff were appointed at the bottom of the pay scale their wages would still cost South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust nearly £400,000 a year.
At the top end the wages would be closer to half-a-million pounds.
Most of the jobs were advertised on the website jobs.nhs.uk just days after 37 payroll workers were told their roles were being “outsourced” to Lancashire.
As reported, the shock news – two days before Christmas – left staff reeling.
One staff member said: “We are mad that jobs are going from Teesside.
“Our area suffers enough and it’s the knock-on effect for our families.”
Trust chiefs say the review of financial services is part of a programme to save £90m over three years – “that will eventually touch all areas of the organisation”.
From April 2015 services provided by the trust’s payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable teams will move to East Lancashire Financial Services, part of Calderstone Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
Among the 11 new positions now being advertised in the trust’s finance department are a head of financial management on £65,922-£81,618 per annum, head of financial governance and control, also on £65,922- £81,618, and financial controller on between £39,239-£47,088.
One of the payroll staff, who asked to remain anonymous, said:
“We all feel appalled and let down by the way we have been treated.
“The timing of advertising the positions in finance is just another smack in the face.
“How can the trust possibly justify this sort of spending at a time when it is in such deficit and other departments trust-wide are being told job losses are inevitable?”
Payroll staff will be subject to TUPE transfer, under which they would keep certain employment rights, to East Lancashire Financial Services, say the trust.
But chief executive, Professor Tricia Hart said:
“The board recognises that moving may not be a viable option for some staff.
“In those cases the trust will work with individual staff members to look for alternative roles at South Tees, in line with the trust’s policies.”
Responding to the job adverts a South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust spokeswoman said:
“The trust is working hard to achieve a number of savings plans and financial initiatives which have been developed to ensure the organisation makes the required savings over the next three years.
“In order to achieve these plans it is crucial that financial support is available. We have looked at our current structure and are recruiting to essential posts.
“In line with our savings plans any posts which are not essential will be removed from our structure.”
Source – Middlesbrough Evening Gazette, 03 Jan 2015