‘RCM to ballot midwives on industrial action over fair pay in Northern Ireland’

By ‘RCM to ballot midwives on industrial action over fair pay in Northern Ireland’ on 15 November 2019 Director For Northern Ireland Northern Ireland RCM Northern Ireland Midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Industrial Action Pay and Agenda For Change

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has announced that they will ballot their members in Northern Ireland over pay.

This follows a meeting today where the RCM Board made a unanimous decision to formally ballot midwives and maternity support workers with a view to taking industrial action in the coming months.

In 2018 the RCM consulted with its members on this issue and 95 percent of the RCM’s membership in Northern Ireland said they would be willing to take strike action over fair pay.

The RCM is now joining other health unions on balloting their members on significant industrial action.

Commenting, RCM’s Director for Northern Ireland Karen Murray said; “Pay for midwives and maternity support workers in Northern Ireland has fallen behind the rest of the UK with a midwife in Northern Ireland earning £2,000 less than their colleagues in England and even less when compared to midwives in Scotland.

“The RCM has not taken the decision to ballot our members lightly, but after eight months of talks with the Department of Health a fair and decent resolution for our members cannot be found.

“The Department of Health must understand the RCM and other unions are willing to negotiate, but they must accept pay parity with the rest of the UK for our members is crucial if we are to avoid industrial action in Health and social care services in Northern Ireland.

“Last year we consulted RCM members on this, and they told us they are willing to take strike action to demonstrate their anger over pay inequalities with their colleagues in other parts of the United Kingdom.

“Midwives and MSW’s in Northern Ireland deliver high quality care to women and their families, often in understaffed and pressured services and paying them less is not only unjust, but also creates a strong feeling that they are not valued. We should be doing all we can to make midwifery as a profession more attractive in order to retain and recruit staff and paying them less than they deserve will not achieve this.”




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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/.