Nursing and Midwifery Council staff received a 2.3% pay increase last year, with the chief executive’s annual salary rising to £153,365, the regulator’s annual accounts have revealed.
Including pensions benefits and extra payment for 19 days of untaken annual leave, chief executive and registrar Jackie Smith’s total remuneration for the year was £233,917.
“It is extravagant and our members will be angry in the current context of the NHS pay dispute”
All six members of the NMC’s senior management team – which includes Ms Smith – earned more than £100,000 in 2013-14, said a report on the regulator’s 2013-14 accounts, which was published last week.
The senior team’s increase was described as “extravagant” by the union Unite, which said it added “insult to injury” following the regulator’s move to increase its registration fee by 20%.
NMC council members approved plans to increase the annual registration fee from £100 to £120 earlier in October. It comes into effect from March 2015.
Unite professional officer Jane Beach said: “It is extravagant and our members will be angry in the current context of the NHS pay dispute. It will give extra weight as to why health secretary Jeremy Hunt should give at least the 1% pay rise to the NHS workforce.”
She added: “It also adds insult to injury given that the NMC recently raised the registration fee from £100-a-year to an extortionate £120.”
The NMC told Nursing Times the 2.3% increase followed a pay freeze for all employees in 2012-13, with the exception of two workers who were among the lowest paid staff. The median salary across all 496 NMC staff for the year 2013-14 was £26,859.
The regulator noted that it was an independent body and that its pay rates were unconnected to those for NHS staff. “The appropriate remuneration of NMC staff is vital to the continuance of our capacity to regulate effectively,” added an NMC spokeswoman.
She re-iterated that the chief executive’s pay increase was consistent with the inflationary award of 2.3% that was given to all staff, adding that the senior team’s pay was determined by a remuneration committee, “in line with best practice in corporate governance”.
The spokeswoman also highlighted the “significant progress” that the NMC had been made in its performance since February 2013, when the registration fee was last raised – from £76 to £100.
The regulator’s annual report shows it cleared its historic fitness to practise caseload – all cases beginning before January 2011 – except for six by September 2013.
The NMC told Nursing Times that a spot check last month showed that on average 60% of cases closed that month had been completed within 15 months.
The NMC, Portland Place, London