RCM members in Scotland reject Government pay offer

By Gemma Murphy on 12 August 2022 Midwives RCM Member MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Pay NHS Pay Review Body

RCM members in Scotland have overwhelming rejected the Scottish Government’s pay offer of 5%.

In the largest ever turnout in the history of an RCM pay consultation in Scotland – of the 66% of midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) who responded - 90 percent have rejected the Governments offer.

Now all members working in the NHS in Scotland will be balloted on statutory industrial action.

The RCM made a strong case for an above inflation pay rise and says the results of this consultation are unsurprising given cost of living pressures its members are facing. They say if members accepted the Governments below inflation pay offer it would in effect be a real terms pay cut.

Commenting, the RCM’s National Officer for Scotland, Jackie Mitchell, said:

“Firstly, I’ve got to thank all our members, reps and activists who have come out in their numbers and made their voice heard. You have given us a very clear mandate on what you want to do next. Of course, industrial action is always the last resort, but like you we believe a below inflation pay offer is an insult to all our hardworking members. We now have no other choice but to ballot members on statutory industrial action.” 

This week RCM Scotland took the results of the consultation to the RCM Board who, given the strong turnout and strength of feeling from members, unanimously voted that the next step will be to ballot members on industrial action.

The RCM says if its members vote in favour of industrial action, they will not ask members to break their code of conduct and reassured members that the code does not prohibit midwives from taking part in lawful industrial action. During previous strike action in 2014 RCM members maintained safe services and, if industrial action goes ahead, the delivery of safe care to women and their families will not be compromised.

Jackie added:

We will now begin preparations to ballot all members working in the NHS in Scotland, with our ballot likely to take place in late September. What is important now is that members ensure their postal addresses and employment details are up to date so they do not miss out on their chance to vote, and this can be done via the RCM’s website.”

The RCM says it will be keeping members in Scotland 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.