RCM members in England and Wales to be balloted on industrial action over pay 

on 22 September 2022 Midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers RCM RCM Wales RCM Member England Pay NHS Pay Review Body Industrial Action Pay and Agenda For Change NHS Staff NHS NHS Wales NHS England NHS Unions

RCM members working in the NHS in England and Wales are set to be formally balloted on industrial action over pay.

This follows a consultation in which RCM members overwhelmingly rejected their governments’ pay awards of £1400 for most Agenda for Change NHS staff. The amount equates to a 4% increase for those at the top step point of band 6 and those on band 7.Two-thirds of eligible members in England and more than eight out of 10 in Wales took part in the consultation, with three-quarters (75%) saying they wanted to be balloted on industrial action.

The RCM’s Board - comprised of, and elected by, members – considered the consultation results and made the decision to prepare to ballot members in both countries. The dates of the ballots will be announced in the coming weeks.

RCM members in Scotland in an earlier consultation also rejected the Scottish Government’s 5% pay offer and formal balloting of RCM members in Scotland starts on 29 September, running to 27 October.

Announcing the move to ballot its members at the RCM’s annual Activist Conference, Dr Suzanne Tyler, RCM’s Executive Director Trade Union, said; “I thank all our members for taking the time to complete the survey and for making their voices and their dissatisfaction on the pay award heard. We believe all our members in every part of the UK deserve and need an above inflation pay rise more than ever Now  it’s time for the governments in London and Cardiff to listen.

“The dissatisfaction and unrest among midwives and their colleagues across the UK is real. It is starting to boil and is searingly palpable. There is no doubt that our members in England, Wales and Scotland have given us a very strong mandate to move forward on this and to continue the fight for better pay.”

A survey of NHS staff in June showed that four out of five (80%) would quit the NHS over concerns about their pay. An RCM survey last year also showed over half of midwives (57%) said they were considering leaving the NHS, with fears about the quality of care they were able to deliver given as the main reason.

The RCM has reassured its members that, should they vote to take industrial action, they will not be asked to break their NMC code of conduct. The NMC itself says midwifery professionals have the right to take part in lawful industrial action, including strike action.

If members do vote to take industrial action the RCM will work with maternity service managers to ensure safe services are maintained. The RCM has said it understands its members do not take such decisions lightly. During previous strike action in 2014, the RCM maintained safe services and have assured women using maternity services in England and Wales that they can still expect good quality care during any potential industrial action

Now the RCM has begun preparations to ballot members in England and Wales they are calling on all members to ensure their postal addresses and employment details are up to date so they do not miss out on their chance to vote when the ballot it launched, and this can be done via the RCM’s website here .

The RCM says it will be keeping members up to date on all ballot plans in its fortnightly emailed member newsletter. Should members vote in favour of industrial action the RCM will work with services as it has done before and will be providing extensive guidance and support to all its members working in the NHS.


For more information and updates see the RCM’s pay campaign section of the website at Pay Hub - RCM.