RCM pens letter to Prime Minister on pay  

on 18 October 2021 Midwifery RCM RCM Member Government Pay NHS Pay Review Body Pay and Agenda For Change Midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson highlighting its dissatisfaction with the recent pay award it’s members in England received. The College says that it will continue to fight for its members, so they receive a fair and decent pay rise next year.

In its letter to the Prime Minister the RCM has suggested a good start to current Government plans to move to a ‘high skilled, high wage economy’ would be to recognise that midwives and MSWs are already highly skilled at what they do, and they deserve a pay rise that reflects their high skills and dedication to the NHS.

The RCM also says while it supports the Government’s ambition to make the NHS the safest place in the world to give birth, that ambition can only be realised if midwives and all maternity staff feel valued, are paid fairly, and have working conditions that support a healthy work-life balance.

Commenting, RCM’s Executive Director for External Relations and one of NHS’ Unions chief negotiators, Jon Skewes said;

“Midwives and maternity support workers deserved a fair and decent pay rise this year, but that has not happened. The Government’s late submission to the NHS Pay Review Body and the announcement of the pay award right before the summer break meant that our members and all NHS staff received their insufficient pay rise almost six months late. This is no way to value NHS staff, and it has further eroded the morale of maternity staff who are burnt out and exhausted due to shortage of midwives.”

A recent RCM member survey found 92% of respondents said that being a midwife or maternity support worker (MSW) is not valued by the government and 95% told the RCM they were unhappy with the recently implemented 3% pay award.

The RCM is highlighting these issues ahead of the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review and say funding for the NHS must include support for a fully-funded pay rise for NHS staff. Not least because highly skilled workers deserve higher pay but because it is imperative to ensure the NHS has the staff it needs to meet the demand on services.

Jon added:

“It’s never been more crucial that NHS maternity services have enough staff to meet the demand and currently they don’t, there was a midwife shortage prior to the pandemic which has since worsened to crisis levels. 86% of respondents to a recent RCM survey told us that a fair pay increase might encourage those who are considering leaving the profession to stay. With rising prices, inflation, and the upcoming National Insurance increase our members will have even less in their pockets at the end of each month. We will continue to fight for our members, so they receive a decent pay rise next year and one that starts to make up for years of pay restraint.”



To contact the RCM media office call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]. 

Notes to Editors



The Royal College of Midwives (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 www.rcm.org