Statement from RCM Board on ongoing dispute with Westminster Government

on 19 January 2023 Midwifery Midwives Midwifery Workforce Maternity Services NHS Government MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Pay and Agenda For Change

At its meeting today (19 January), the RCM Board spent considerable time discussing the outcome of the ballot in England, in addition to authorising industrial action in Wales.

Having beaten the Westminster Government’s draconian ballot thresholds in Scotland and Wales, the RCM Board shares the dismay and frustration of members in England that we did not achieve the legal turnout that would have given a mandate for action. This is despite a massive investment and commitment from RCM staff and activists.

Before Christmas the Chair of the RCM Board asked the RCM Chief Executive to establish a thorough review to reflect on the campaign processes and analyse data, taking notice of members’ feedback.  This has now commenced and will report to the next Board meeting in March.

The Board continues to hold the ability to authorise a new ballot in England, pending both the outcomes of the review and recognising the changing industrial landscape.  We will keep this under active review between formal meetings and are ready to act quickly.

The Board recognises that, despite not having a mandate for industrial action, the RCM remains in dispute with Westminster Government and we were happy to receive details of the ongoing campaign.  This includes two meetings with Secretary of State for Health & Social Care, a planned approach to demonstrating the extent of midwives’ goodwill, orchestrated contact with MPs and coordinated attendance at upcoming TUC rallies and support and solidarity with those health unions taking action.