RCM suspends industrial action ballot following ‘positive’ pay offer - Consultation with affected members to start 20 January

on 17 January 2020 Midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers RCM Northern Ireland Industrial Action Pay and Agenda For Change Director For Northern Ireland Northern Ireland

After intense negotiations with the newly-appointed Health Minister, the Royal College of Midwives is to suspend its ballot for industrial action with immediate effect.

The outline agreement will see Northern Ireland midwives and maternity support workers receive pay parity with health workers in England, backdated to 1 April 2019, a key demand from the RCM. The RCM will now be consulting its members and will be recommending acceptance of the offer.

Karen Murray, the RCM’s Director for Northern Ireland said: 

“This has been hard won and hard fought for. We have negotiated intensively on behalf of our members to get to this point. Within just a few days of the Assembly restarting we have got a fair pay deal on the table for our members.

“We are recommending our members accept this offer and I urge them to respond to our consultation. This is a very positive step forward after falling behind other UK health workers on pay. Our actions and that of other unions has put pressure on the Government and led to this agreement.”

A consultation of RCM members on the outline agreement will start on Monday, 20 January running for three weeks until Monday, 3 February.

Karen Murray added; 

“It is perhaps fitting that, as we begin to celebrate the International Year of the Midwife, our Government has recognised how important midwives and our maternity support workers are, and the contribution they make to the health and wellbeing of women. It shows that by taking a stand and using the power of unions and our members we have got a fair pay deal for our midwives and maternity support workers.”


To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].  Notes to editors

More information on the RCM’s consultation is on the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/supporting/fair-pay-overdue-in-northern-ireland/.Around 90% of midwives in Northern Ireland are members of the Royal College of Midwives. There are around 1400 midwives working in the Health & Social Care Directorate. 

Midwives and maternity support workers in England, Scotland and Wales agreed a three year pay deal in 2018, which increased starting pay and pay on promotion, and enabled them to reach the full rate for the role more quickly, colleagues in Northern Ireland did not benefit from this deal.

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/.