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'RCM launches fair pay campaign'

12 July, 2017

'RCM launches fair pay campaign'

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The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has today launched its ‘Fair Pay Overdue’ campaign. This calls on the Government to end pay restraint in the NHS and commit to fully fund a pay rise for midwives, maternity support workers and other NHS staff. The launch comes as the RCM’s Activists Conference takes place in Bristol today (Thursday, 13th July 2017).

The RCM is calling on the Government to end their policy of pay restraint in the NHS by ending the public sector pay cap that restricts the recommendations that the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) can make. The RCM is also calling for a commitment to fully fund a pay award that reflects the increased cost of living, and the real terms loss of earnings that midwives, maternity support workers and other NHS staff have suffered since 2010.

Government pay freezes and pay restraint has seen the value of pay of the average midwife drop by over £6,000 since 2010. With inflation increasing rapidly the value of pay is set to drop even further.

England is 3500 full time midwives short of the numbers needed; a shortage that has lasted over a generation. Figures published over the last few weeks have shown a collapse in the numbers of EU midwives who are applying to work in the UK. This is combined with the number of students applying to study midwifery significantly drop this year because of the introduction of tuition fees and removal of the bursary.

A RCM survey published last year found that 80% of midwives who were considering leaving the NHS would be persuaded to stay if they had a fair pay rise. It is crucial that the Government recognise that they need to pay NHS staff fairly so they can recruit and retain the necessary numbers of staff. This is why midwives are telling the Government that fair pay is overdue.   

As part of the campaign the RCM will be urging its midwife and maternity support worker members to write to their MP so that they know about the real impact of pay restraint, and understand that the Government should not only remove the policy of the pay cap but they should also make a commitment to fully fund a pay increase for NHS staff.

The RCM is also conducting a pay survey with its members. The survey will form part of the evidence the RCM will submit to the NHSPRB in the autumn. The deadline for the survey is 31st July 2017 and can be completed via the RCM website at  https://www.rcm.org.uk/pay.

Commenting on the campaign, Jon Skewes, Director for Policy, Employment Relations and Communications at the College of Midwives, said: “The Government must commit to fully fund a real terms pay increase for Midwives and NHS staff. Anything less will fundamentally damage employment relations 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 midwives that is getting worse. We need our NHS staff more than ever because ultimately, investment in NHS staff is an investment in high quality, safe NHS care.

“This is not a request for buckets of money; it is a request for fair pay that makes up for years of what are effectively pay cuts. Midwives and maternity support workers work incredibly hard under increasingly challenging circumstances and they are working harder every day while seeing their pay drop. All we are asking for is for midwives, maternity support workers and the whole of the NHS team to be treated fairly for the tremendous job they do every day.”

 

 

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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