RCM launches snap poll for members in Northern Ireland

on 22 April 2024

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is calling all its members in Northern Ireland to take part in its snap poll on additional hours worked which launches today.

The RCM wants to know how many unpaid extra hours its members worked during last week, 15-21 April. Midwives and Maternity Support Workers (MSWs) can let the RCM know by taking this quick poll here.

Earlier this month RCM members in England, Scotland and Wales told the RCM that they had worked 136,834 extra unpaid hours to keep services running safely. The RCM says that now members in Northern Ireland have voted to accept the pay offer, it’s their turn to tally up the extra unpaid hours they’ve been working.

The RCM has told all national Government’s that services can no longer run on the goodwill of staff and use the results of each poll to highlight the need for more midwives, better flexible working and to campaign to improve pay. The results of RCM member surveys and polls and the power of member evidence to lobby and campaign for change cannot be underestimated say the RCM.

The poll also includes questions about safe staffing and the availability of flexible working options.

Commenting, the RCM’s Director for Northern Ireland, Karen Murray says:

“We know some of our members are working over their allocated hours without getting paid extra. This situation is not sustainable and highlights the staffing shortages and challenges that are faced across maternity services in Northern Ireland. Moreover, our concern is for the physical and mental health of our members who are having to sustain excessive workloads and pressures.”

Last year thousands of RCM members took part in this same poll sharing what it was like during just one working week of the year. The RCM says it painted a deeply worrying picture of workplace conditions and the impact that not having enough staff can have on safety. It also highlighted the lack of flexible working options which was a key consideration for midwives considering leaving the profession.

The RCM’s snap poll launched today (Monday 22 April) and run for seven days until Monday 29 April to enable as many midwives and MSWs as possible to take part. With time being luxury RCM members don’t always have the snap poll will take no longer than 3 minutes for you complete. 

From today members in Northern Ireland can participate by completing the survey here and the results of the poll will be published in early May.