Not good enough says RCM Scotland on Government pay offer
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) in Scotland has responded to a pay offer of 5% for its members with anger and disappointment. The pay offer, which is well below inflation, is not enough to retain staff who have already had enough of years of pay increases that have not kept pace with inflation and the rising cost of living, the RCM says.
A recent RCM survey of midwives in Scotland has already shown how low morale is, with seven out of 10 midwives considering leaving the NHS. This, the RCM says, is alarming at a time when there is already a shortfall of midwives.
Today the RCM has said the Scottish Government’s pay offer to its members is not only an insult, but could be the final straw for those already considering leaving midwifery.
Commenting, Jaki Lambert, RCM’s Director for Scotland said: “The Government’s pay offer for our members is simply not good enough. It’s nowhere near what midwives and maternity staff deserve or need right now. Our members are struggling with the rising cost of living and 5% is not enough to counteract the increases in inflation. If they accept this offer, they will not see any real terms improvement in their pay from last year.
“We called on the Scottish Government for an inflation-proof pay rise so this offer will not cut it. We’ve also laid out the reasons why a decent pay increase was so desperately needed to also improve recruitment and retention challenges and to ensure more staff don’t head for the door.”
In the RCM’s recent survey only 2.5% of respondents felt that being a midwife was valued by the Scottish Government. The RCM says maternity services cannot be run on the cheap or the goodwill of its members. Midwives and maternity care assistants continue to plug the staffing gaps and work additional hours for no extra pay to keep services running safely in Scotland. This, the RCM says, is contributing to a catalogue of issues described in the survey including an exhausted and a fragile maternity workforce with morale at rock bottom.
Jaki added: “We know our members currently feel so undervalued, they feel their work and efforts to deliver good care in the face of many challenges is not being recognised by the Scottish Government. This pay offer will do nothing to alter that view. Midwives and MCAs should feel valued for their contribution to the current and future health of women and babies in Scotland. Instead, morale is the lowest I have ever seen it and this pay offer will no doubt further erode it even further.”
The RCM will now move to consult with its members in the coming weeks and are urging all members to have their say and respond to the consultation.
To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected]
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.