Friday, 17 October 2008


My nursing colleagues are underpaid. I know this. I don't see medical colleagues as over paid. Compared to peers, some psychologists seem overpaid for the work they do. OTs seem better paid than nurses, for what they do (since nurses do more, see more patients, put in more hours, carry more responsibility and have more to achieve). But this kind of "they get too much money" isn't a helpful position to hold.

I don't often read The Times, but after clicking a link on Jobbing Doctor's site I started rummaging around The Times online, by mistake.

It has annoyed me. The Times says that CEOs typically earn £212,910 and, ". . . are the head of the business . . . will answer to a board of directors."
Useful information, okay. Leadership but accountability, a fair comment to account for their salary and balance this with this comment of the framework they work within.

They move on to City Brokers, average pay is £94,293. "The City broker is usually portrayed by the media as a scary man screaming and gesticulating manically. They are in fact qualified professionals who buy and sell shares on behalf of investors. To become one, a person is required to pass the Certificate in Securities from the Securities and Investment Institute."
Great! Challenging stigma and negative media portrayal, they frame the broker as a qualified and professional responsible soul.

Then they move on to doctors. Average earnings £81,744. A group who've been savaged by the Government for reluctantly accepting the deal the Government imposed upon the profession. So it goes.
What is The Times view on this? Like City Brokers, do they redress this negative portrayal with some sensible perspective or comment?
"The salary of doctors has been high up the political agenda lately after the Government introduced new contracts that many outside observers regarded as overly generous."

Many see it as overly generous.

Maybe I should give up and just join the massed throngs and throw rotten tomatoes too. Bastard doctors.


Quacktitioner said...

....offers hob nob and cup of tea :-)

Elaine said...

I suggest a nice cold gin and tonic with a slice of lemon and/or lime and a lie down in a darkened room.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it is time for a renegade army of fruit-wielding rebels to storm the Headquarters of The Times?

But a word of advice. I wouldn't use rotten tomatoes. Really, they are too soft to convey any lasting message.

Perhaps consider the merits of The Pineapple?

Vive Le Fruitolution Comrade,

Spirit of 1976 said...

If it's any consolation, probably a fair percentage of those lavishly-paid city brokers are probably on their way to the dole office right about now.

Tempus fugit said...

Pay is always a tricky one - what's something 'worth'......not sure we will ever crack properly issue of pay in the public sector. Certainly bags of rewards (which we don't always appreciate or publicise or acknowledge) - moments in your shift / day / career / life that you just can't buy....nor can anybody else. Emotional labour in nursing (and all other forms of care) is hugely important but largely untapped. Maybe the lack of pay has an unexpected benefit - reminds us that we can't do this just for the money - keeps us human and reminds us that we are.

Dragonfly said...

Doctors are terrible....we would be better of without them. All illness is iatrogenic anyway :-) All this medicalising of normal human experiences :-)

A massage might help, followed by that G+T with lots of lime.

Unknown said...

The Times is not going to slag off brokers as they form the core readership.

I do agree with the article that they are not the uber-macho arseholes/cows that they are portrayed as, I work with many, they are just fine.

They probably reckon doctors read the Guardian, Telegraph or Lancet but not the Times, so it's fair to have a go at them instead.

Exactly how anyone in the City can complain about anyone else's pay is beyond me however.

Zarathurtra: not necessarily. Brokers simply get transactions done on behalf of clients. They are the financial markets equivalent of getting your accountant or solicitor to do some work for you. As long as pension funds and the like exist, there will be jobs for this sort of person because they are required for the administration and functioning of the financial system.

Proprietary traders, who take on risk to try to make money by playing the markets for their employers (of which many of the banks also employ teams, and of course, all hedge funds fit in here) will be down the local Job Centre.

My view: nurses are underpaid, because at one stage, this was a job done by women only, like teaching, and was therefore seen as low status. Women who wanted a job had to pick nursing, teaching or secretarial work, and so lots of capable females ended up in these sectors despite the crap pay.

Moving along now, it's still seen by the type of right-wing, sexist, patriarchal type at the top of the social ladder as relatively low status because it's associated with women still and (gasp!) foreigners and non-whites (oh no!!! we can't possibly pay Johnny Foreigner more). And although pay has been improved over the years, it has yet to catch up.

And there is a lack of qualified nurses, because it is perceived as a low paid profession, and the women who would have filled the ranks in the 1970s are now busy doing everything from driving busses to studying medicine to training to be an accountant to serving in Iraq.

The above is I think more an unsconscious bias than deliberate reasoning, but, interesting that they are now talking about reducing doctors' salaries in the US as it becomes a majority female profession...

So, yes, nurses's wages need to go, lots, to reflect the skills and responsibilites required in the position.

*passes soapbox to next in line*

Anonymous said...

*takes soapbox and eats it*

Much prefer hob nobs.

Salary seems related to the economic gain the job provides to either the individual, the economy or both - not the good it does for people generally or more widely. Oh or how much bend you can put on a football.

Anonymous said...

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn
is just to love and be loved in return"
- Nature Boy, Nat King Cole


Tho I prefer the Aaron Neville version :-)

Seratonin said...

It simply doesn't make sense that nurses and doctors pay come after CEO's and those in the city.Life and death situations obviously aren't that important then !