Midwives accept Scottish Government pay offer

on 20 March 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 RCM Scotland Scotland Scottish Government Scottish Maternity Services

Midwife and maternity support worker members (MSW) of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have accepted the Scottish Government’s pay offer. The result follows an RCM member consultation which closed today.

In a turnout of 44% of eligible RCM members working in the NHS in Scotland, 69% voted to accept the deal, with 31% rejecting it.

The offer came following intense negotiations between health unions - including the RCM - and the Scottish Government. The deal will see most midwives and maternity support workers (MSW) – depending on where they are on the pay scale – getting a consolidated pay rise of around 6.5% for the 2023/24 pay year with hopes it will be in April pay packets. This is on top of the imposed pay rise already in pay packets for 2022/2023, meaning most RCM members will have received a consolidated 13-14% pay rise over a two-year period. The deal also includes a lump sum equivalent to three calendar months value of the difference between an employee’s basic rate of pay for 2022/23 and 2023/24 pay.

Jaki Lambert, RCM Director for Scotland, said: “This is a good offer that gives our members most of what they had been asking for including an above inflation pay award and a commitment to reform of NHS pay bands. While pay is crucial this was also about midwives feeling seen and valued. Improving retention through better working conditions, professional midwifery issues and the wellbeing of staff are also a key component of this. Most importantly, it was also about our members standing tall and being prepared to take action to ensure better care for women, babies, and their families.”

“Now this deal is in place, we can start work in earnest on addressing the other issues covered by it through the non-pay elements and the recently announced Scottish Government Ministerial Task Force for midwives and nurses. This means the RCM and other health unions working with the Scottish Government to put into action their firm promises to address the rising pressures on services, the growing staffing shortages, and invest in maternity services and the wider NHS. This includes ensuring midwives, MSWs and their colleagues have the time for crucial development and ongoing training and learning which are vital to the safety of care, something many were having to do in their own time.”

This offer also includes elements of an earlier one rejected by RCM members in a consultation in December. This includes the continuation of overtime payments for senior midwives, making a significant difference to their pay, and retaining the enhanced mileage allowances for staff using their cars for work. It also includes plans to reduce the working week to 36 hours with no loss of earnings. 

Jaki Lambert added, “This proves that when midwives, MSWs and their NHS colleagues take a stand, governments must listen and act. It also proves that when all parties sit around a table and negotiate in good faith, the result is happier staff, which means better care, which at bottom is what we are all striving for.”


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.