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‘Pay still top of the agenda as RCM midwives and activists meet in Leeds’

18 September, 2017

‘Pay still top of the agenda as RCM midwives and activists meet in Leeds’

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Pay remains top of the agenda for The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) at it’s Activists Conference which  takes place in Leeds today. The RCM Activists Conference will bring together all accredited RCM stewards, health and safety representatives, maternity support worker (MSW) advocates, branch secretaries, chairs and treasurers.

The one day conference provides an opportunity for RCM members to update and build their skills and knowledge base that will support them in running vibrant branches for members.

 

The programme is devised also to provide learning and discussion for activists in all roles to enable them to further support members from all UK countries.

Delegates will also have an opportunity to meet RCM’s new Chief Executive and General Secretary Gill Walton. During the day Gill will host an ideas sessions which will give activists a chance to pose questions and suggest ideas for building a stronger RCM.

Top of the agenda will be sessions on pay and local negotiations delivered by RCMs Director for Policy, Employment Relations and Communications Jon Skewes.

Just last Friday the RCM joined 13 other NHS Unions representing over one million health workers across the UK and submitted a pay claim of behalf of its members directly to the Government.

In a letter sent to the Chancellor NHS unions have asked Philip Hammond to earmark funds in the November Budget for a pay rise of 3.9 per-cent and additional £800 pounds to restore some of the pay lost by midwives and other healthcare workers over the past seven years.

Commenting, Jon Skewes Director for Employment Relations and Communications at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said; "The 3.9 percent plus an additional £800 pounds pay claim represents fair compensation for the rise of cost in living and goes someway towards making up for midwives' pay losing over £6,000 in value since 2010.

“Without an increase to pay there will be no incentive for midwives to stay in midwifery or for students to consider joining a profession that’s so undervalued by the Government and badly overstretched in terms of staffing.

“The RCM has said time and time again that anything less that what we have asked for will fundamentally damage employment relations further in the NHS and will add to the already rock-bottom NHS morale. It will further push midwives out of the profession at a time when we already have a shortage of 3,500 midwives which may potentially worsen post Brexit. We need our NHS staff more than ever because ultimately, investment in NHS staff is an investment in high quality, safe NHS cares.

“Last year 80% of midwives who were considering leaving the NHS said they would stay if their pay increased, it is essential that the Government put the funding in place to pay staff this fair increase so that the NHS can recruit and retain hardworking midwives and other NHS staff".

For information on the RCM Fair Pay Overdue campaign visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/pay.

For information on the RCM Activists Conference visit https://www.rcm.org.uk/rcm-activists-conferences.

To contact the RCM Press Office call 020 7312 3456, or email pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.

Ends

Notes to editors

The 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 website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.

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