So we don’t need to raise supermarket pay then…..

NHS staff are quitting to stack shelves in supermarkets instead of caring for patients because they are so demoralised by years of getting pay rises of only 1% or nothing, hospital bosses have warned.

If, even at full employment, they can attract labour from other areas of the economy…..

Worth noting that stacking shelves is going to produce an income of perhaps £15,000 a year full time. Nurses get £31,000 a year on average. So it’s not going to be the Angles making that choice.

So, the solution would seem to be wage compression in the NHS then. The higher paid can stand still while the lower paid get a rise to keep them?

30 comments on “So we don’t need to raise supermarket pay then…..

  1. Yes, the term “lower paid NHS staff” implies unskilled roles: porters, cleaners, cooks, healthcare assistants; certainly not nurses. The article is intentionally misleading.

    Do porters etc. get the same NHS pension & sick pay as the rest of the service? If so they’re fools to give it up for Tesco.

  2. A man of my (slight) acquaintance – early thirties – left his job as a general builder working for a local small firm to take up a job as a maintenance man at the local County hospital. He took a pay cut to do so. The reason? 12 months’ sick pay at full wage if ill, followed by an indeterminate period “at discretion”, generous leave policies (“I need a week off, my goldfish is ill”), no pressure on the job, the incredibly generous pension scheme, and working indoors instead of in the rain / snow / frost / wind.

    His mates thought him mad. They won’t, one day.

  3. markc,

    Yep, State employees always bang on about wages never total compensation, and when you point out all the other benefits, especially the pension, go in to a strop and claim they contribute to their pension.

  4. Most nurses come in as Band 5 in the pay structure. That’s 22-29000 p.a. Add on a 1% increase p.a. once you’ve hit the top of the band and I cannot believe nurses are stacking shelves instead of nursing.

  5. “it’s not going to be the Angles making that choice.”

    It’s them fucking Saxons, innit.

  6. Executive nurses sit on their arses all day playing with spreadsheets. It’s the nursing assistants, (and the cleaners) who do the actual nursing, and I expect those are the ones leaving to stack shelves instead of slop piss.

  7. Lowest pay for a Band 1 NHS worker (roles such as domestic support worker, housekeeping assistant, driver and nursery assistant) start at £15,404 pa plus the benefits of a public sector job mentioned already.

    So more than the £15k Tim quotes for a shelf-stacker. And a lot more once the full package is accounted for.

    So I am going to go out on a limb and say that either the article or the ‘hospital bosses’ are outright lying and people are not leaving the NHS in droves to work for Tesco. And if anyone at all is, it is not about money.

  8. I’m sure that the bosses in a Tesco store are tyrants, but experience of working in state employ tells me that the managers there are likely to be socialists as well as tyrants, which means that the treatment of staff beneath them will be many times worse.

    ‘How do you know that man?’ the Pro Vice Chancellor at a former Poly asked me with distain when I greeted a sweeper outside the front of the main building. The man was clearing student litter and cigarette ends, and probably for the minimum wage. “He works for the University,” I replied, (it was post 1992), “just like you and me.” Senior professor Eloi weren’t supposed to even acknowledge sweeper Morlocks.

  9. Rather obvious question:
    How do hospital bosses know “NHS staff are quitting to stack shelves in supermarkets ”
    Do NHS staff have to fill in a termination of employment form with a “nature of future employment” section?

    I am leaving the NHS to become:
    Rocket scientist.
    Foreign exchange dealer
    Polar explorer
    Shelf stacker at Tesco
    Tick appropriate box where indicated.

  10. @dearieme: no, it’s Tim’s indifference to proofreading failures, except by other people; but let’s not Jute the messenger, he doesn’t deserve to be Pict on.

  11. Average pay in the NHS is £31.7k. Average pay for qualified nurses is £33.3k, so there are a lot of low paid porters, cleaners and “allied health professionals” bringing down the average.

    The 1% pay rise is misleading. NHS staff get annual pay progression for length of time served at a particular grade and can expect promotions in grade from time to time. There is a vast matrix of pay levels for each type of NHS occupation (by grade and experience). Those salaries have been increasing by 1%. Actual pay received has increased by much more.

  12. Senior professor Eloi weren’t supposed to even acknowledge sweeper Morlocks

    I expect he considered himself to be Progressive and egalitarian though. He just didn’t pay any attention to the proles, that’s all.

  13. I’m sure that the bosses in a Tesco store are tyrants, but experience of working in state employ tells me that the managers there are likely to be socialists as well as tyrants, which means that the treatment of staff beneath them will be many times worse.

    I’ve seen this. It’s a combination of the “I’m morally superior because I’m a lefty so can be a total cnut with a clean conscience” and following their own cartoonish version of how “The Bosses” supposedly oppress “The Workers” in their own bizarre model of how “capitalism” works. To them, this is how bosses behave, and they’re the boss now. So that’s how they behave.

  14. > The man was clearing student litter and cigarette ends

    I infer from this that you are (or were) a smoker. The smokers’ area in any building is the one place where Eloi and Morlocks don’t merely acknowledge each others’ existence, but actually engage in conversation. Also great snooping ground for corporate spies trying to probe the company for weaknesses.

  15. @BlokeInNorthDorset “Yep, State employees always bang on about wages never total compensation, and when you point out all the other benefits, especially the pension, go in to a strop and claim they contribute to their pension.”

    Yes, they do. I’ve had the “I contribute to my pension so I don’t have to think about whether the contributions bear any resemblance to the pension or not” countless times.

    What’s really scary is how colossally out it becomes if you have one minor promotion in (say) your mid 40s.

    There are several teacher myths I have noticed (as someone who has worked in both sectors)

    – teachers work harder than anyone else – not true
    – teachers work two hours overtime a day – often not true and only takes them to 5:00 ish anyway
    – teachers are badly paid in comparison – possibly STEM teachers but none of the others
    – teachers could easily get other jobs if they wanted – but usually don’t

  16. When various public sector bods were screaming blue murder at being forced to increase their pension contributions from something like 3% to 4% I regularly pointed out that this meant that they were obviously planning on only staying alive for one year for every 25 years they had been at work. Me, I was planning on staying alive as long as possible and was putting at least 25% of my income into my pension, getting eight years of retirement for that same 25 years of work.

    I was ignoring interest and inflation for simplicity, but even then they often could not understand the basic maths involved.

  17. “Tsk, *they* have editors!”

    When did I miss the law that made it illegal to read your own stuff before publishing it?

  18. Would be a strategic error. Combination of minimum wage and on-line shopping will kill off shelf stacker. Demand for nurses will not suffer in the same way.

  19. I imagine Tesco sack you if you haven’t turned up for work for six months.

    Unlike the NHS.

  20. BTW “NHS Providers” are a lobby group, paid for by NHS trusts at a cost of over £10K/year.

    #BurningYourMoney

  21. BiW,

    Sneaky gits. I’m going to set up a group called NHS Media Services and charge the press £10 a copy for my fake press releases.

  22. Consultants, junior doctor, nurses and radiographers should forego pay increases in favour of raising the pay of porters and receptionists. Good luck with that one.

  23. My brother was a auxiliary nurse in the NHS for about 15 years, when not on shift he picked up more money by bank nursing.
    He was young, doing 60 hours a week plus was nothing to him. I was the same at his age.

    Shelf stacking at Tesco versus bank nursing? Which pays more?
    Probably the nursing.

  24. Andrew_M, I never have been a smoker, and didn’t understand that there was a classless cameraderie of puffers. I did understand that if you wanted to find a smoker after the smoking ban and they weren’t in their office, you looked outside the appropriate door instead of in the refectory (never in a lecture room, laboratory or elsewhere). After all, most of them do fuck all, and less than that if they can get away with it. (Non-smokers are to be found in the refectory still. The same work ethic applies).

    Teachers Pensions:
    Employees pay 6.4% of their salaries and employers pay 14.1%. That looks to me like over 20%, which is more than you’d think – if the Employer contribution was zero, then higher salaries could be paid. See what Tim says about employer taxes. Sure, it is unfunded in strict terms, but the average teacher’s pension is £10k pa, and the average contribution is around £6k pa – 20% of £30k (or a smidgeon more). That looks to me like 40 years of payments ought to give you 24 years of retirement – longer than the average life expectancy of women, let alone men. The calculations work out better in favour of the scheme for a later start in life and shorter service.There are better deals in other public sector jobs, for example the NHS and the police.

  25. When did I miss the law that made it illegal to read your own stuff before publishing it?

    Welcome to the Internet – you must be new here.

  26. “So it’s not going to be the Angles making that choice.”

    It could be, if they’re being obtuse.

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