NHS Employers is launching a “myth busting” campaign to prevent a backlash from resentful private sector employees struggling in the recession.
Discussing the drive at the NHS Confederation conference, Employers deputy director Alastair Henderson said the average NHS pension was worth just £6,000 a year yet many people thought it was far higher.
He called on organisations to help dispel the myths around NHS pensions by equipping media and the public with accurate information.
However, while downplaying the pension scheme to the wider public, director Sian Thomas said it was also important to promote the benefits enjoyed by NHS employees in pay negotiations.
She said: “One of the debates we’re having at the moment with the Cabinet Office and trade unions is what reward means in its widest terms.
“There’s a view in the Cabinet Office that trade unions are ready to have that sort of conversation which is about how we articulate what the total reward package is, not just total compensation but all the terms and conditions, and the pension.
“At the moment no one in the NHS is doing that. That’s a dialogue we need to have more and more.”
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NHS Confederation conference 2009
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Campaign to tackle NHS pension 'myths'