A UNION boss has hit out after it was revealed 165 hospital staff in Sunderland earned more than £100,000 last year.
According to new figures, 165 people in senior posts working for City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust took home six-figure salaries, a rise of 10 per cent.
The pay to the chief executive of the trust, Ken Bremner, stayed the same however, between £215,000 and £220,000.
Glenn Turp, Northern regional director of the Royal College of Nursing – based in Sunderland – believes the increases are unfair.
Mr Turp said: “While nurses have been on a pay freeze for the last two years, the number of senior managers earning over £100,000 has grown significantly.
“It sends out completely the wrong message, and seriously damages staff morale.
“If we are serious about addressing the problems of poor staff morale identified by the Francis Inquiry as contributing to poor care, then we can’t have one rule on pay for front-line staff, and another for senior managers.
“The Government also needs to stop running down the profession, while turning a blind eye to the fact that more and more senior NHS managers are paying themselves more than 10 times a nurse’s annual salary.”
A spokesman for City Hospitals Sunderland said: “Salaries, even at the highest level, are generally lower than in the private sector, but do require levels of commitment and dedication that it is hard to compare with other professions.
“Working for the NHS is often regarded as a vocation, but the challenges and stresses in a constantly changing system are enormous.
“Needless to say all staff levels at City Hospitals are highly valued as part of a five-star team that is regarded as a centre of excellence within the NHS.”