Recruiting to our RCM – everyone’s business

By Dale Quigley on 01 May 2018 RCM RCM Member

We ended 2017 with RCM membership at an all-time high and in 2018 we continue to grow. Midwives, Maternity Support Workers (MSWs) and student midwives throughout the UK can see the benefit of belonging to the world’s oldest and largest organisation run by and for midwives.

The value of our RCM lies in our unique ability to influence, promote and support locally and nationally on behalf of the maternity services.

Last year we:

  • Represented more than 600 members who had experienced difficulties at work either in their employment or professional practice
  • Held more than 700 events throughout the UK bringing RCM members together to learn, share debate and support each other
  • Launched 23 new i-learn modules (to complement the existing 90) making CPD easy to access, relevant, reliable and free
  • Published 20 new statements, guides or advice covering everything from working through the menopause to midwives caring for their friends and family. 

What our research tells us makes the biggest difference is RCM visibility and activity at local level. Strong local activity should always include seeking out and recruiting those midwives and MSWs who aren’t yet members. The number one reason that people give when they are asked why they are not a member of a union, is because no one has asked them.  So we must never assume and we must constantly have at our finger tips the reasons why RCM membership is beneficial. 

All the evidence suggests ‘like recruits like’, that potential members are more likely to feel attracted to our RCM when they are approached by someone who understands their issues and may have shared their experiences. So it is imperative that our members are confident, knowledgeable and proud enough to encourage their colleagues to join our RCM. 

Keeping our members is just as important as recruiting new members.  It’s amazing how many members miss our communications, emails, magazine features and web site posts. These members don’t know all the things we are doing on their behalf, and if they don’t know they won’t value membership.  So when wages are stretched and it costs almost £21 a month, some do start to question what they are paying for.  So it is vital members are continuously informed about the work our RCM is doing at both a national and local level – our activists are best placed to share this information with their RCM colleagues.

We are almost halfway through 2018 but we still have some key dates and activities scheduled which give us all an opportunity to promote our RCM and engage with members and non-members locally:

  • The Big Conversation, running from March through till the end of May is the chance to invite members to tell us what they think would make our RCM stronger
  • Our two national activist’s conferences in July will focus on how we can more successfully make those hard arguments with policy makers about numbers and pay and conditions
  • Our second free to attend annual conference is in Manchester 4-5 October
  • MSW week –focussing on the value and contribution of MSWs is scheduled for November 

Please use every opportunity you have to reinforce these messages and share your story about “what the RCM does for you” with your fellow midwives and MSWs.

Recruitment materials are available for activists via Storefront and our Organising Team is always happy to help support your local recruitment activities and initiatives. Use the contact us page to request support.   

Together we can continue to grow.