‘This changes nothing’ says RCM as 4% pay award implemented in Northern Ireland

on 09 December 2022 RCM Maternity Services MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Midwifery Midwives Staffing Levels Government RCM Member Pay NHS Pay Review Body Pay and Agenda For Change Industrial Action NHS Staff Northern Ireland RCM Northern Ireland

The inadequate pay award for midwives, maternity supports workers (MSW), and their HSC colleagues will do nothing to reduce their frustration. That’s the message from the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) responding to the announcement that the 4% pay award for HSC staff is to be implemented in Northern Ireland.

The RCM – who represent most midwives and MSWs in Northern Ireland – consulted its members on the pay offer last month. Nearly 90% said they would be prepared to take industrial action if the current NHS Pay Review Body’s recommendations of a 4% pay award were implemented.

Karen Murray, RCM Director for Northern Ireland, said: “This has taken too long, it changes nothing, and it will certainly not change the feelings of our members about their pay. Their message to us was clear; 4% was not good enough then and it is not good enough now. With inflation over 11% this is effectively a pay cut not a pay rise. Our members have also had a decade and more of pay freezes and pay stagnation, making them significantly worse off than they were, and the cost-of-living is rocketing.  Can it be right that hard working and dedicated health professionals are having to use food banks, and think hard about eating or heating, now in the 21st century?

“Midwives are also under massive pressure and this award will do nothing to stem the tide of those leaving. Those in power must come forward with a better and inflation busting pay offer. The one that is being forced on them now will not quieten their disappointment or put a single dent in their determination to act for better pay, better conditions, and better maternity services.”

The RCM is currently balloting members in England and Wales on pay, this closes on 12th December. RCM members in Scotland were balloted on pay and they voted yes to industrial action. The RCM is now consulting with Scotland members on whether to accept or reject the latest pay offer there.


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

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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.