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Nursing and Midwifery Council expresses unease at voting for chair and members’ pay rise

A pay rise for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) chair Dame Janet Finch and members has been unanimously approved.

A pay rise for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) chair Dame Janet Finch and members has been unanimously approved.

  • Independent pay panel made pay rise recommendations
  • Worries that a 'flawed' cycle of pay rises for regulators could ensue
  • New NMC chair to be appointed in May, with allowance of £78,000 
Janet Finch
Current NMC chair Dame Janet Finch

Professor Finch’s working hours for the NMC have increased from two days to two and a half, and her pay will be backdated to April 2017. Her pay will increase from £48,048 to £63,050, which amounts to a rise of around £3,000 after this increase in hours is taken into account. The decision was made by a vote at this week’s council meeting.

The increase, accepted by members but recommended by an independent pay panel, recognises the need for additional working time and comparisons with other healthcare regulatory body chairs’ allowances.

A new chair will be appointed in May, with an allowance of £78,000 for three days’ work a week. This will equate to a further pay rise of around £2,300 for the position.

A unanimous verdict was further reached on increased council members’ allowances, backdated to the start of April 2017.

Members, who are asked to work three days a month or 36 days a year, will now be entitled to £14,724, at a daily rate of £409.

This has increased from £13,250 in April 2016 and £12,000 in 2009.

Independent pay panel

An independent pay panel, commissioned by the NMC, considered level of accountability, responsibility, ability to attract and retain members of ‘the required calibre’ and comparisons with other regulators, before making its recommendations.

The panel calculated the mean equivalent daily allowance for the General Medical Council, General Dental Council, the Health and Care Professions Council and NMC, was £424.

Before the unanimous vote in favour of the increase, member Derek Pretty said: ‘Like other colleagues, I feel some discomfort.

‘I am uneasy with a model that bases what we get on comparisons with others. Having served on remuneration committees in a variety of environments, one sees that things keep going up and up.’

'Flawed' cycle could continue

He said he feared regulators who had previously been paying more than the NMC would hike their allowances and the ‘flawed’ cycle would continue.

 ‘We should be setting a challenge about the balance to be made between the comparative weight applied and the rate necessary to attract appropriate candidates.

‘As I understand it, there are no problems with people not applying for roles here because they think they are worth much more in monetary terms.’

His thoughts were echoed by other members, who agreed future processes should take this into account.

Professor Finch said: ‘In this situation, anyone can recognise it is uncomfortable for a body to decide their own allowances. We have done all we could possibly think of to remove any suggestion that we are advantaging ourselves.’


Clarification

An earlier version of this story stated that Professor Finch would receive a pay rise of £15,000. We wish to clarify that this amount reflects an additional half day of work per week for the NMC, and her actual pay rise is around £3,000 per year.


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