Keith Ward, the BMA chief executive has penned a letter responding to reports of large pay rises for leaders at their union, released by the Guardian today.
This morning the British Medical Association was reported to have secretly awarded its senior figures pay rises of up to 137% and doubled its leader’s salary to £172,000.
It also suggested that Dr Mark Porter, the BMA’s chair of council, has seen his income go from £88,320 last year to £171,692 – a rise of 94%.
Ward said: “This is grossly inaccurate as it fails to take into account the £54,000 deducted and paid by the BMA directly to the NHS Trust where Dr Porter is a working anaesthetist. Equally Dr Porter has chosen to relinquish £77,000 leaving him with a payment of £40,000.”
In terms of the other salaries, Ward said: “It is important to note that the figures set are the upper limits of total remuneration, and not the actual amounts payable to incumbents.
“If we are to continue to represent the interests of doctors we need the right people in the job. The levels of pay were recommended by the BMA’s Remuneration Committee, independent of the Chief Officers,” he said.
In response a representative from the Doctors and Dentists Union said: “As a defence organisation who are rivals of the BMA in providing support to doctors, we do not wish to comment on the BMA’s internal affairs such as how much they pay their officers. However, it is the manner in which it has been done that worries us.
“BMA conduct a lot of negotiation with the government on behalf of the profession and for them to earn the confidence of the profession, they should strive for transparency but that appears to have been lacking on this occasion,” they said.