Have your say on Scotland pay

By Colin Beesley on 29 June 2022 Midwifery Midwives Midwifery Workforce

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is calling on its members in Scotland to have their say on their pay as it opens a survey on the Scottish Government’s pay offer to NHS staff. 

Earlier this month the Scottish Government offered NHS staff on Agenda for Change pay scales a 5% pay award. The RCM said the offer, which falls well behind spiralling inflation and the rapidly rising cost of living, was not good enough, was an insult to its members and simply ‘does not cut it’. It also fails to consider other increases that will mean midwives and maternity support workers are worse off, including upcoming increases in NHS pension contributions for some. Staff have already had enough of years of pay awards failing to keep pace with prices said the RCM, calling for an inflation-proof pay rise. 

Jackie Mitchell, RCM National Officer for Scotland and its lead on Scottish pay issues, is appealing to RCM members across Scotland to complete the survey. “For too many years we have seen pay awards failing to recognise what it really costs to pay for food, housing, petrol, and many other things hitting midwives’ pockets. This means their wages are worth less and less, yet they are working harder and harder beyond what is acceptable. This is being done by a Government that RCM members feel do not value their efforts. Your voices are the ones that matter; your voices are the ones that the Scottish Government must listen to and responding to this survey is a way to take your voice into the heart of Government,” she said.

The Government’s pay offer comes on the back of an RCM survey of its members in Scotland that clearly show plummeting morale and where almost three quarters said they were considering leaving the NHS.

The RCM says the 5% offer from the Scottish Government is the best deal that can be achieved through negotiation. To improve it would require industrial action up to and including strike action. A vote to reject the offer would signal that RCM members are willing to take that action. Before that could happen, the next steps, including whether to proceed to a formal ballot of its members, would be decided by the RCM Board. “This is an important moment for you, our members across Scotland. The pay offer does not cut it and falls short of what we asked for you from the Government. It also fails to make up for years of your pay lagging behind costs meaning you are significantly worse off now that you were a decade ago, said Jackie Mitchell. "Our next steps will be guided by your voices and your decisions, and I urge you to make them heard.” 

The RCM will be holding branch meetings about the pay offer across Scotland. RCM members should contact their workplace representatives for information about when one is taking place where they work. 

The survey is now running and will be open until 3 August to enable as many RCM members as possible to have their say on pay.

For more information on pay in Scotland see Scotland pay consultation (rcm.org.uk).

See also Not good enough says RCM Scotland on Government pay offer. 

See also Mounting Scottish maternity service staffing shortages spark safety fears says RCM.