Dr Blogs

“The truth behind the BMA pay rise story”

Many of you will have read The Guardian’s article, which gives details of a decision made by BMA Council in November 2014, on the remuneration of the Association’s Chief Officers.

This was a decision made by Council members, based on recommendations from the BMA’s Remuneration Committee, without any input from the Chief Officers.

While The Guardian‘s version of the situation makes a good story, it comes at the expense of the full truth.

We were very clear about the correct position in plenty of time for the story to run correctly, but this has been omitted from the piece which ran this morning.

It misleadingly claims, for example, that the chair of council Dr Mark Porter is paid a salary of £171,000 per year by the BMA. This is grossly inaccurate as it fails to take into account the £54,000 deducted and paid by the BMA directly to the NHS trust where Dr Porter is a working anaesthetist.

Equally Dr Porter has chosen to relinquish £77,000 leaving him with a payment of £40,000.

The scheme agreed by Council creates a ‘rate for the job’ for each of the Chief Officer roles, with payments made for the number of days of the week each Chief Officer carries out work for the BMA.

It has been formulated on a total package basis, and does not set out specific salaries.

The article fails to take into account that the amounts recommended by the Remuneration Committee, which were decided upon following advice from external compensation consultants, are pro rata and include payments made by the BMA to Chief Officers’ employers as reimbursement for their time to carry out their BMA duties.

It is important to note that the figures set are the upper limits of total remuneration, and not the actual amounts payable to incumbents.

As the recognised leaders of their profession the BMA’s Chief Officers are active, practising doctors. For some, holding such a position has become itself a full-time role. It is only right that these increasing demands are appropriately recognised.

If we are to continue to represent the interests of doctors we need the right people in the job.

The levels of pay were recommended by the BMA’s Remuneration Committee, independent of the Chief Officers, with oversight from the BMA’s Audit Committee and the Oversight and Finance Committee.

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