Union Managers in Partnership has slammed the new pay deal for very senior NHS managers. The union says it has no confidence that the long-awaited deal published by the government last week 'will deliver remuneration that is fair, open and delivers equal pay for work of equal value'.

Union Managers in Partnership has slammed the new pay deal for very senior NHS managers. The union says it has no confidence that the long-awaited deal published by the government last week 'will deliver remuneration that is fair, open and delivers equal pay for work of equal value'.

MiP chief executive Jon Restell says the union has been flooded with questions from concerned managers on the pay framework for new chief executives and directors of non-acute NHS organisations.

He says the main problem is the rationale for calculating chief executive salary bands and the pay rates of directors, which are based on percentages of chief executives' rates. He said they did not seem to be supported by a 'job evaluation methodology'.

Under the new framework, primary care trust chief executives' pay will be at one of four levels depending on the size of the organisation's weighted populations.

Directors' pay levels are then set on a sliding percentage scale of that salary, between 75 per cent for finance directors and 55 per cent for corporate affairs directors.

Pay for strategic health authority and ambulance trust chief executives has been split into geographical bands, with weighted population used as the determining factor for SHAs. Ambulance trust chiefs' pay rests on the cost of emergency care plus the number of 999 calls.

The union said members are also raising concerns over the potential for deputy directors on Agenda for Changeterms to be paid more than their bosses under the framework. They also doubt the fairness of guidance that bans performance bonuses if the organisation is failing financially.

Meanwhile the NHS Confederation has sounded alarm bells over the framework's requirement for pay settlements to be signed off by 'grandparent organisations'.

The deal decrees that boards must go to their SHA or the Department of Health to get approval on any new pay package.

The move was criticised as 'yet another attempt to infantilise boards' by confederation policy director Nigel Edwards. 'If we continue to infantilise boards and undermine governance of organisations we shouldn't wonder why people don't want to serve on them.'

He added that the move set up a form of 'direct line management' relationship between PCT and SHA chief executives, which undermined the PCT board. 'This is not consistent with the Shifting the Balance of Powerpolicy,' he said. 'If anything it is moving power up the system.'

Special health authority pay bandings for very senior managers will be published by the end of September.