Millennium IT staff more valuable than nurses

Rates pay reveal sorry state of priorities

NHS IT staff stand to earn 20 times more than nurses working on Millennium Eve. Moon Communications, which provides the computer links between hospitals, is offering to pay workers a £250 bonus to stay at home on standby this New Year's Eve. And they will get £300 an hour if they are actually called in to work – a tidy sum of £2,100 for a night's work. Thousands of the country's nurses will get a paltry £106 for the same seven-hour shift - on what may be one of the busiest nights of the year for the Health Service. Even Tube drivers will net £1,500, and the humble GP around £150 per hour, for working through the Millennium, the Sunday Mirror reported. "It says something about the way nurses are valued when people saving lives are paid so little while computer personnel are paid so much," said Josie Irwin, senior employment relations adviser at the Royal College of Nursing. Health union Unison warned: "This could cause staff to quit if they feel they are being unfairly treated." ® The winners and losers in the Millennium wage packet stakes: Financial IT expert - £50,000 Bank executive - £5,000 Party DJ - £4,000 Security guard at the Millennium Dome - £3,000 BBC presenter - £300 Fire fighter - £216 Junior doctor - £4.20 per hour

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