More dismay for RCM members in Wales as pay award announced
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) in Wales has said its members will be ‘disappointed and angered’ by today’s pay announcement from the Welsh Government.
Midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) in Wales have been awarded just £1,400 for their 2022/23 pay award, the same as members in England. This means the majority of midwives in Wales will receive dismal 4% pay increase, which is currently less than half the rate of inflation.
The RCM says a pay increase of £1,400, even for those who get that in full, will not be enough for their members to cope with the rising cost of living, with many already struggling. In real terms this pay increase will be absorbed by energy bills with the price cap rising by £1,000 in October and then the rest will go in tax. Combined with years of pay restraint and pay awards that have not kept pace with inflation, this year’s pay increase will make little or no difference to most of its members’ pay packets.
The RCM in Wales has been campaigning for an inflation-busting pay rise as its members struggle to cope with the rising cost of living, some even turning to foodbanks to support their families. It has repeatedly warned the Government that an award less than the rate of inflation would see more midwives and MSWs considering if they could even afford to continue to work for the NHS in Wales.
Commenting, the RCM’s Interim Director for Wales, Vicky Richards said;
“While the Welsh Government has accepted the recommendations from the Pay Review Body, we are disappointed they have not listened to our warnings of the consequences of a below inflation pay rise. Dedicated and committed RCM members in Wales have been propping up maternity services and working beyond their hours, often unpaid, to ensure safe care is delivered to women and their babies They will no doubt see today’s pay announcement as an absolute insult, and this will further erode already rock-bottom morale.”
The RCM has acknowledged that lower paid staff in bands 1 to 4 will see a more of an increase in their salaries as this is something the RCM has longed campaigned for along with a real living wage increase that some members received in April. However, this will not be the case for the vast majority of maternity staff in Wales.
“Our midwife leaders and those in the higher pay bands also deserve a decent pay rise. They are the ones who have managed maternity services in really difficult circumstances over the past number of years. It’s unfair to take a pay rise from them to solve the inequity at the bottom of the pay scale. This is likely to further exacerbate recruitment, retention and progression issues in Wales.
Next the RCM will be consulting its members to hear their views on this award and to gauge opinions on next steps for the Deliver a Decent Deal pay campaign. The RCM has also reaffirmed that the RCM Board is committed to reviewing the RCM’s support of the NHS Pay Review Body process.
For interview requests and to contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected]
- Read more about the RCM’s Deliver a Decent Deal pay campaign here
- ‘Improving pay part of solution to recruitment and retention crisis,’ RCM tells Pay Review Body
- Four out of five NHS staff say pay is main reason they would quit their jobs (rcm.org.uk)
About the RCM
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.