RCM cites ‘cautious optimism’ on pay following Scottish Government meeting

on 13 January 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 RCM Scotland Scotland NHS Unions NHS Scotland

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has said it is cautiously optimistic that its calls for a decent pay deal can be met by the Scottish Government. At a meeting yesterday (12 January), the Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, and the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Humza Yousaf, told the RCM that the Scottish Government is committed to a road map to resolve the ongoing pay dispute.

While details of the enhanced deal will need to be negotiated through the Scottish Terms & Conditions group (STAC), the RCM has told its midwife and maternity support worker (MSW) members in Scotland that they believe this is a significant step forward. However, the RCM has also made clear that its mandate for industrial action remains and, should progress falter, they would have no hesitation in using it.

Jaki Lambert, Director of Scotland at the RCM, said:

“Our members have consistently told us that they feel neither seen nor valued by the Scottish Government, and the previous pay offers have done little to dissuade them of this view. We are grateful to the Cabinet Secretary that he has acknowledged this and has committed to finding a meaningful solution to this dispute. Midwives and MSWs do an incredible job supporting women and families, but all too often they are doing so against the odds. We are hopeful that this is a turning point in the dispute which, yes, is focussed on pay, but is just as much about the conditions our members have to work in.”

The meeting with the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary took place following the rejection of a previous pay offer by members of the RCM, GMB and the Royal College of Nursing. The most recent offer was imposed on all NHS staff covered by Agenda for Change contracts on 23 December.

Jaki continued:

“Getting to this point has been difficult, and I’m incredibly proud of our members who are prepared to stand firm for what they believe in. For them, supporting women and families always comes first, so to take the decision to take industrial action is way outside their comfort zones. I am heartened that the Cabinet Secretary recognises this and is prepared to work with us to develop a positive future.”


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.