12 Jan 2016

DHB, union clash over chief's salary

4:01 pm on 12 January 2016

The Capital and Coast District Health Board and senior doctors union have clashed over the salary band increase of the board's chief executive.

Board chair Virginia Hope said Debbie Chin's salary band increase was closer to 1 percent from the 2013/14 to 2014/15 financial year rather than the 15 percent claimed by the union.

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Executive Director Ian Powell.

Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Executive Director Ian Powell. Photo: Supplied

Ms Hope said the head of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists Ian Powell had got it wrong.

She said she did not know the exact figure, but the salary rise was about 1 percent.

"I simply don't have it in front of me at the moment so that's why I don't want to be explicit, but we're not talking 9 percent we're talking at the 1 percent end.

"Just to reiterate that the salary band that's reported is not actually the basic salary band, it incorporates a number of payments that may be made, as in this case, an annual leave payment from the previous role that she had and it can incorporate different timings of active payments so it is not the actual salary that is reported."

However Mr Powell said the chief executive's pay rise was far higher than the average increase of 3.5 percent for all DHB chief executives while workers only got a 0.5 percent average pay rise.

The increase showed up the disparity between her salary and that of her hospital's workers, he said.

"An 0.5 percent salary increase on a salary of, let's say, $60,000 is also going to be much, much less than a 3.5 per cent increase on a chief executive's salary of anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 or above. So it is by contrast grotesque."

Mr Powell said State Services Commission figures show the 2013-14 total salary band for the chief executive position was $490,000 to $499,999.

Mr Powell said there was no logic to the board chair's calculations.

Read the State Services Commission's report showing the salary bands and increases from 2013/14 to 2014/15 here

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs