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‘Value midwives with fair pay’ says RCM ahead of debate on pay restraint’

30 January, 2017

‘Value midwives with fair pay’ says RCM ahead of debate on pay restraint’

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The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is calling for the NHS Pay Review Body to break the Government’s policy of public sector pay restraint. Following the petition to ‘Scrap the NHS Pay Cap’ this coming Monday (January 30th) MPs will debate pay restraint in the NHS.

The RCM has produced a briefing* for MPs as part of its ongoing campaign to end the Governments policy of pay restraint for midwives and other public sector employees.

In September 2016 the RCM submitted evidence** to the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) which included the following recommendations;

  • The RCM believes that the increase to the national minimum wage is part of Government’s social policy and this should be funded in addition to the increase to the pay bill. The RCM believes that the best way to do this is a restructure of bands 1-3 to deliver the living wage.
  • The RCM would like to see a return to UK-wide pay structures for the NHS; this would involve re-setting bands 4-9 of the NHS pay structures to the current Scotland rates.
  • RCM believes that the NHSPRB needs to break the public sector pay restraint and should recommend an appropriate pay award to ensure that NHS organisations are able to recruit and retain staff in the NHS.

Commenting, Jon Skewes Director for Policy, Employment Relations and Communications at the RCM said; “The Government has also got to show that it values NHS staff, who are working harder and harder, with what seems less and less. As in the past the Government are pressuring the NHS Pay review Body to keep pay awards to a maximum of 1% for NHS staff. They need to stop this pressure and genuinely allow the pay body the freedom to recommend pay awards.

We are currently 3,500 midwives short in England alone and maternity units are struggling to meet the demands of the service.  RCM’s annual survey with Heads of Midwifery (HOMs) shows that they are frequently redeploying staff to other areas; using bank and agency staff; withdrawing services and closing the unit. Every day we hear from our members that they are struggling with understaffing and subsequently are working harder and longer hours for less and less pay and this simply cannot continue.”

“The past six years of pay restraint in the NHS have seen midwives and maternity support workers salaries drop dramatically. The value of the average midwives salary has dropped by £6,000 and if the Governments policy of pay restraint continues until 2020 that will increase to £9,000.

It is utterly disgraceful to expect midwives and other public sector workers to continue to work more as their salaries steadily decreases. The Government cannot continue to expect maternity services to run on the sheer goodwill of midwives alone and that is why the RCM we will continue to campaign break with the Government’s policy of public sector pay restraint.”

*Royal College of Midwives Briefing for MPs - NHS Pay January 2017: https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/Royal%20College%20of%20Midwives%20Briefing%20for%20MPs%20%E2%80%93%20NHS%20Pay%20A4%204pp_FINAL%20FOR%20RELEASE%20Jan%202017.pdf

**RCM’s Evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body September 2016 can be viewed here: https://www.rcm.org.uk/sites/default/files/Royal%20College%20of%20Midwives%20Evidence%20to%20the%20NHS%20Pay%20Review%20Body%20-%20September%202016.pdf

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

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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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