All health unions must be brought into pay negotiations says RCM

on 22 February 2023 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 England Maternity Safety Safety

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says that any negotiations around NHS pay must be with all health unions. The statement follows an announcement late yesterday that the Government are set to enter into pay negotiations with the Royal College of Nursing.

Dr Suzanne Tyler, Executive Director, Trade Union at the RCM, said: “This divide and rule tactic by the Westminster Government will not work. There are millions of health workers represented by the health unions and we remain united in our campaign for a better deal for all of our members.

“This could be a welcome sign that this Government has finally realised the seriousness of the crisis in the NHS, and the massive impact that high inflation and living costs are having on the incomes of NHS staff. If this does represent a change of direction by the Government from its previous intransigence that is great. However, they need to focus on all NHS staff and negotiate with all of their unions.”

Yesterday the Government also put in their evidence to the NHS pay Review Body and like last year, significantly after the deadline for submissions. Their submission says a pay award above 3.5% for 2023/24 is unaffordable. This would mean yet another real terms pay cut for midwives who already have lost around £56,000 in real earnings since 2008, because of pay stagnation and pay freezes, says the RCM.

Dr Tyler added, “A pay award barely above a third of the rate of inflation will not stop the exodus of midwives and other staff from the NHS; it will simply fuel it. If the Government are belatedly coming to the negotiating table, they must do it with their ears open, in good faith, and with a commitment to reverse the massive loss of pay NHS staff have seen. If they don’t, the crisis in maternity services and the wider NHS will worsen and care will suffer.”


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