HC Deb 30 July 1982 vol 28 cc841-3W
Mrs. Dunwoody

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, pursuant to his reply in the Official Report of 15 July, c. 458–60, whether revenue assumption (1) includes the assumption that the cost of the current year's pay offer which comes from the Contingency Reserve will not next year be paid for by either the Contingency Reserve or the regional health authorities' cash allocations.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The total contribution from the Contingency Reserve towards the additional cost of the final pay provision is some £95 million, of which some £37 million related to the cost of the additional pay provision announced on 23 June. Assumption (1) in my right hon. Friend's reply of 15 July assumes that this contribution of £37 million will be non-recurrent. It has not yet been determined whether and to what extent this will be reflected in resource allocations in 1983–84 and 1984–85. This will be considered as part of the overall decision on resources for the NHS in those years during the review of public expenditure in the autumn.

Mr. Marlow

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in considering pay settlements for ancillary staff in the National Health Service, he compares their earnings with those for similar jobs in the private sector; and if he will publish such information as is available to him about the earnings of kitchen staff, porters and cleaners in the National Health Service and in the private sector.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

There is only a limited amount of information readily available upon which comparisons of this sort could be based. The new earnings survey, which covers posts in both the public and private sectors, has categories of "kitchen hands" and "counter hands" which closely correspond to the NHS ancillary grade of catering assistant and a category of "other cleaners" which is broadly similar to the NHS grade of domestic assistant, although it includes window cleaners, bus, ship and workshop cleaners as well as office and domestic cleaners. Very few men are employed as catering or domestic assistants in the NHS although over one-third of all full-time women ancillary staff are employed in these occupations. Comparable weekly figures for women employed full-time in 1981 are as follows:

Average earnings Average number of hours worked Average hourly equivalent
New earnings survey: £ £
Kitchen hands 61.40 38.0 1.62
Counter hands 67.60 38.8 1.74
Other cleaners 69.30 40.1 1.73
NHS Catering and Domestic Assistants 77.86 41.1 1.89

For NHS staff London allowances of up to £13.68 are payable in addition whereas the average figures from the new earnings survey include any London weighting.

The Government believe that the final offer of resources available for ancillary staff for this year is fair and reasonable and could produce earnings which would compare favourably with equivalent staff in the private sector.

Mr. Deakins

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what are the highest and lowest salaries, respectively, of National Health Service jobs covered by the 6 per cent. pay offer and the 7.5 per cent. pay offer, respectively.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The information requested is as follows:

Per annum
Adult staff covered by overall 7½ per cent. offers
Lowest salary:
Nursing auxiliary (minimum scale point) 3,143
Highest salary:
Regional nursing officer (RI) (maximum scale point) 21,924
Adult staff covered by overall 6 per cent. offers
Lowest salary:
Trainee cook—age 18 2,616
Highest salary:
Regional administrator (RI) (maximum scale point) 23,034

Rates of pay for employees under 18 years of age have been ignored.

Mr. Deakins

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what consideration was given to offering higher percentage salary increases to lower-paid National Health Service staff and lower percentage increases to higher paid staff.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

I shall let the hon. Member have a reply as soon as possible.