RCM pauses Northern Ireland strike action as pay talks scheduled

on 31 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 Industrial Action Northern Ireland Director For Northern Ireland RCM Northern Ireland

Strike action set for Monday, 3 April by Royal College of Midwives (RCM) members across Northern Ireland has been paused. This follows an offer from the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to meet the RCM and other unions next week to discuss HSC pay. The RCM will also be suspending action short of a strike planned for 3-10 April. 

Karen Murray, RCM Director for Northern Ireland, said: “This offer to negotiate has happened because our members and those in other unions have taken a stand for better care for women, for better working conditions, and decent pay. Though being done with a heavy heart, midwives and maternity support workers (MSWS)were prepared to take action for what they believe in, and it has brought the UK Government to the table. We will have them behind us as we enter into negotiations.” 

A pay award of around 4% was recommended by the NHS Pay Review Body for 2022/23, which was imposed on HSC staff in December. This falls way below inflation which still sits in double figures and goes nowhere near making up for the rocketing cost of living says the RCM. 

Karen Murray added, “We will enter into these talks with an open mind to come to an agreement. We have paused action, but the Westminster Government must be under no illusions; we have a very strong mandate for industrial action which we will not hesitate to use if these talks do not result in an offer that we feel we can put to our members.” 


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.