Northern Ireland midwives vote in favour of industrial action

By Hollie Ewers on 29 November 2018 Northern Ireland Industrial Action Pay and Agenda For Change

Almost 95% of RCM members in Northern Ireland who responded to a consultation about industrial action, including strike action, over pay conditions have voted in favour.

The RCM board received the results of the consultation yesterday (28 November).

Pay for midwives and MSWs in Northern Ireland has fallen behind the rest of the UK with a midwife in Northern Ireland at the top of her pay bracket earning at least £2000 less than her peers at the same level in England.  

RCM executive director for external relations Jon Skewes said that midwives and MSWs in Northern Ireland have sent a clear message that the on-going pay disparity between themselves and their peers elsewhere in the UK cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely. 

‘Industrial action will always be a last resort, and we will continue to work with the other health and social care trade unions in Northern Ireland to achieve a negotiated proposal to put to members,’ he said.

Jon added that it was encouraging that senior civil servants in Northern Ireland have indicated that they are now in a position to address pay for staff, and he urged them to work in partnership with the RCM and other trade unions.
He concluded: ‘However, our members have indicated by an overwhelming majority that they would be willing to take further action, including strike action, to demonstrate their anger over UK pay inequalities. Our board shall now consider what the next steps to support this should be.’