RCM rejects latest pay offer from the Scottish Government

on 21 December 2022 RCM Maternity Services MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Midwifery Midwives Staffing Levels Government RCM Member Pay Industrial Action NHS Staff Secretary of State for Health Scotland RCM Scotland NHS Scotland

Members of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have voted resoundingly to reject the latest pay offer from the Scottish Government.

Almost two-thirds (65%) of members voted against accepting the latest pay offer which - while offering welcome improvement for early career midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) - did little to improve the take-home pay of the majority of RCM members in Scotland.

Jaki Lambert, RCM Director for Scotland, said: “Our members have spoken loud and clear – the latest pay offer by the Scottish Government is simply not good enough. It goes nowhere near addressing the rising cost of living and would see many midwives actually worse off in real terms.

“Our maternity services are continuing to face staffing challenges. In many places it’s only the goodwill and commitment of midwives and their colleagues that keep these services going. Those same midwives and MSWs often find themselves working 12-hour shifts with no breaks, and even staying beyond those long shifts, just because there’s no-one to relieve them. They do it because they care, and because it’s what women and families need – and we know those same women and families really value them for it. We have written to the Cabinet Secretary and said that it’s not too late to avert strike action – we just need to get back around the table.”

The RCM, whose members in Scotland have already voted decisively for industrial action in the absence of an acceptable pay offer, put this current offer to its members as it felt it was likely to be the final and best offer this financial year. The RCM Board will now meet and decide on next steps including taking industrial action.

The RCM is part of the Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (STAC), which negotiates with the Scottish Government. On Thursday STAC staff side will meet with the Scottish Government to share the outcomes of their respective consultations.

Commenting on the next steps Jaki added: “Our members have been consistent throughout this process – they want a decent deal, and they are prepared to take industrial action to get one. No midwife wants to do this and it is for the Scottish Government to make sure that they do not feel that they are left with no other option. While we acknowledge that the Scottish Government has listened to some of the concerns regarding career opportunities and development, it has failed to meet our members’ needs on pay. If the Scottish Government is as committed to NHS staff as they say they are, they need to offer a much better deal. Warm words are great, but they won’t heat their houses or put food on the table.”


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

See RCM to consult its members on the latest Scottish Government pay offer

See also Scotland’s midwives vote yes to industrial action over pay (rcm.org.uk).

See also ‘Deeply insulting’ says the RCM on revised Scotland NHS pay offer.

See also Mounting Scottish maternity service staffing shortages spark safety fears says RCM.

See also Act on pay and help the NHS, staff and patients, say health unions (rcm.org.uk).

See also Northern Ireland Government must ‘get its act together’ on pay says RCM say

See also RCM urges midwives to vote yes to industrial action as England and Wales pay ballot opens

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 | A professional organisation and trade union dedicated to serving the whole midwifery team