‘Reckless say midwives as Government continue their policy of pay restraint for seventh year running’
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have responded to today’s announcement from the NHS Pay Review Body on pay proposals for 2017/18.
Commenting Jon Skewes, Director for Policy, Employment Relations and Communications at the RCM said; “It is extremely disappointing that the Government is continuing with its disastrous policy of pay restraint for a seventh year. While we welcome that both the Scottish and Welsh Governments will give a slightly higher award to lower paid staff we want to see an inflationary increase given to all staff. As a result of below-inflation increases for the past seven years midwives have seen their pay drop in value by over £6,000 since 2010; it is unsustainable for this to continue. This month saw CPI inflation climb to 2.3% and RPI inflation to 3.2%, while both are set to rise even further this is significantly above the 1% pay award announced today. This effectively results in a pay cut for midwives and other frontline clinical staff.
“There is currently a shortage of 3,500 midwives in the NHS with many more midwives debating whether to leave midwifery because the pressures the service is currently under have created a situation in which midwives have never been so challenged in their ability to give high quality, safe care to women and their families. 80% of midwives who were intending to leave or have left the service told us they would be persuaded to stay if their pay was higher.
“When almost every professional group in the NHS has a shortage of staff, as midwifery does, the Government need to intervene now to retain much-needed staff before it is too late. The decision by the Government to continue with pay restraint in the NHS is reckless in the extreme given the current shortage of staff and the two staffing crises that are looming on the horizon, namely the introduction of tuition of fees for new midwifery and nursing students and the uncertain future of staff from other EU countries. The Government needs to take notice of the evidence that the RCM, and other NHS trade unions put to the NHS Pay Review Body and show they understand the seriousness of the staffing crisis in the NHS and work to retain existing NHS staff in the service.
“The NHS is reliant on midwives’, maternity support workers’ and all other NHS staffs’ goodwill and the Government must start to recognise that. The Government should show NHS staff they are valued by giving them a fair pay rise that is in line with inflation. Investment in staff is an investment in high quality, safe care”.
To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.