RCM calls for robust maternity support worker job evaluation programme
Maternity support workers (MSW) should be paid fairly for the work they are doing, their trade union, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), has said ahead of national MSW Week, which starts on 16 November.
MSWs support midwives and maternity teams in in hospitals, midwife-led units and in the community, caring for mothers and babies and performing tasks such as taking blood pressure and preparing equipment. Increasingly MSWs also focus on specialist areas such as infant feeding support and public health promotion as well as taking on a bigger role in supporting new mothers in their own homes.
The RCM is calling for MSW posts to be properly evaluated, arguing that many are wrongly banded, and so MSWS are being underpaid. Additional training is not being acknowledged and, despite carrying out more complex tasks, MSWs are being kept at low grades – and low pay. That is why the RCM is campaigning for a robust and thorough job evaluation programme for MSWs, to ensure they get the additional pay they are entitled to for the work they are doing.
Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the Royal College of Midwives, said: “MSWs are the unsung heroes of maternity, working tirelessly away from the spotlight to care for women, babies and their families. They bear a massive weight for maternity services, with many doing additional training and taking on more skilled and advanced work for which they should be rewarded fairly. Their roles supporting midwives is crucial to the continued and safe running of our maternity services, and to delivering the best possible care.”
The celebrations continue with a week-long virtual national MSW Festival, with online events, seminars and presentations from 23-27 November.
Gill Walton added, “The dedication, commitment and sheer hard work of MSWs underpins our maternity services. Governments and employers must recognise that contribution and ensure they are paid fairly and appropriately. We must value them and reward their massive contribution and we must do that now.”
To contact the RCM media office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]. Notes to Editors
For information about MSWs visit https://www.rcm.org.uk/promoting/learning-careers/become-maternity-support-worker/.
For information on the RCM’s MSW Job Evaluation campaign visit https://www.rcm.org.uk/supporting/job-evaluation/ and to see the RCM MSW job evaluation toolkit visit https://www.rcm.org.uk/media/4284/job-evaluation-toolkit.pdf
See a blog from the RCM on the development of the MSW role and their contribution at https://www.rcm.org.uk/news-views/rcm-opinion/2020/denise-linay-on-developing-maternity-roles-at-the-rcm/.
The RCM Position Statement on MSWs can be viewed at https://www.rcm.org.uk/media/2303/maternity-support-workers.pdf.
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/.