Striking NHS staff do not know how lucky they are to have generous pension, health chiefs say
- NHS bosses suggested that workers were fortunate to get NHS Pension Scheme
- Workers are entitled to have more holiday and sick pay than statutory minimum
- NHS braces for strikes on four days out of five next week as walkouts continue
Striking nurses and ambulance staff do not appreciate how fortunate they are to have such generous NHS pensions, health chiefs have claimed.
The workers are also entitled to more holiday and sick pay than the statutory minimum and receive premium rates for working weekends, they add.
NHS England has told trusts to raise the profile of the ‘overall NHS employment offer’ in a bid to recruit and retain more staff.
Bosses highlight the NHS Pension Scheme, which sees employers contribute 20.6 per cent of staff’s salary into their pension pot, describing it as a ‘significant investment’ and one that ‘staff would find difficult to replicate outside the NHS’.
It comes as the NHS braces for strikes on four days out of five next week, with Monday likely to be the biggest day of industrial action in the history of the health service.
Striking nurses and ambulance staff do not appreciate how fortunate they are to have such generous NHS pensions, health chiefs have claimed
Unions claim staff are underpaid and are demanding inflation-busting pay rises of up to 19.2 per cent.
But in evidence to the independent NHS Pay Review Body, which advises ministers, NHS England says: ‘The total NHS employment reward offer is made up of pay and non-pay benefits.
‘We found that most staff understood that the NHSPS is a good scheme but did not fully appreciate how competitive it is and its value.’
It notes 1.7million people are members of the scheme. It also includes charts showing that the total reward package for an average nurse is more than £45,000 outside of London and around £55,000 in the capital.
The evidence, published yesterday, says pay remains the largest single cost to the NHS.
The NHS pay bill accounts for £70billion, around 65 per cent of a provider’s expenditure. Each additional 1 per cent of pay for NHS trusts accounts for around £1billion. It warns that managers will face a ‘difficult trade-off’ if any pay rise is not matched by funding.