RCM to consult members on latest Scottish Government pay offer
on 25 November 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 RCM Scotland Scotland Scottish Government Scottish Maternity Services
The voices of midwives across Scotland on pay have been heard right at the heart of Government and resulted in a new pay offer says the Royal College of Midwives (RCM). The statement comes after the offer for midwives, maternity support workers (MSW) and other NHS staff was put on the table by the Scottish Government last night.
As a result of the latest offer the RCM - who represent most midwives and also MSWs in Scotland - will be consulting its members on the proposed offer next week. RCM members had overwhelmingly voted yes to industrial action in a ballot earlier this month.
Jaki Lambert, RCM Director for Scotland, said: “The combined power of our members’ voices has driven the Scottish Government to rethink and come back with a better and more rounded offer. It is right that now our members consider the offer and that they decide whether or not to accept it. It does not give us everything we asked for, but it is a positive step with firm commitments from the Scottish Government to continue to look at improving pay and other areas of concern to midwives. It is one that will make a difference to many of our members and that we feel they should be consulted on. The determination of midwives and MSWs to take industrial action for better pay, better working conditions and for a better maternity service for women has brought us to this point. They stood up to be counted and the Government listened.
“This was also never just about pay, though there are some improvements on that in this offer. Our members’ concerns were also around the quality and safety of care they can give. This deal moves us further along that road and starts to address some of these issues, with firm commitments from the Government to fix these problems for the benefit of maternity staff and the women they care for. I met with the Cabinet Secretary last night and today he has given his commitment to significant pieices of work that will make a difference to Midwives .This will also help maternity services retain staff and bring more in. This is a significant breakthrough and that is why we will be consulting our members on this improved deal.”
This deal is the start of movement along a road to address the issues that midwives have raised. However, a clear commitment is needed from the Government to focus on the profession for the benefit of midwives and the women and families of Scotland that they care for says the RCM.
For many RCM Scotland members this is the biggest ever pay offer made. MSWs will see a meaningful pay rise, as will newly qualified and midwives early in their careers. The deal is significantly less beneficial to more senior midwives, but it does commit to keeping their overtime payments which makes a deserved and appropriate difference to their pay.
It also promises to address many issues affecting midwives and MSWs that came out of an RCM Scotland survey of its members earlier this year. This included not getting enough time for critical professional development and keeping better mileage rates for NHS staff using their cars for work. The deal also includes plans to reduce the working week to 36 hours with no loss of earnings and commitments to begin pay negotiations for pay next year.
Jaki Lambert added, “This result shows the power of collective action. It is not perfect, but it is a major improvement on the previous offer. We asked the Government to show they valued maternity staff and the deal on the table shows that they are starting to do that. They have written to me today to reaffirm their commitment to this process. I now hope we can move together in partnership to continue to increase members’ pay and make the working lives of maternity staff better, which will in turn make our maternity services better.”
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 | A professional organisation and trade union dedicated to serving the whole midwifery team.