Want to make a difference when it comes to pay? You are not alone. Become a pay activist and support midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) in your workplace and ensure each and every voice is heard when it comes to pay. We are stronger together and as a pay activist you will become part of a network of members in your region or country, coming together to ensure we are successful in demanding a decent deal.

On 5 September the pay consultation in England and Wales closed. RCM members in England and Wales overwhelmingly told us that they we are unhappy with the inadequate pay award for 2022/23. The response rate was overwhelmingly high. In England 66% of eligible members made their voices heard. Overall, for England and Wales 75% said you would be willing to vote for industrial action. As you are aware the Government announced a £1400 consolidated pay award for most Agenda for Change NHS staff in England (note that for the top step point of band 6 and all of band 7 the amount is adjusted to equate to a 4% increase). The announcement is of a pay award not a pay offer which means that it will be automatically implemented, but we can still work together to demand better.

The RCM Board met, and have made the decision to ballot members in England and Wales. Dr Suzanne Tyler, RCM’s Executive Director Trade Union, made the announcement at Activist Conference on 22 September, and you can read more about it here. On 7 October, the RCM announced it will launch a 4-week ballot on 11 November.

In Scotland, the Scotland consultation closed on 3 August and 66% of members voted in the consultation, with 90% rejecting the Scottish Government's 5% pay offer. We are now balloting our members there on industrial action and our ballot will run from 29th September until 27th October.

We would like to say a big thank you to all our members who voted and to all our Activists who worked hard to encourage RCM members to make their voices heard. We are aware this pay award is a pay cut in real terms. The RCM has already said it won’t cut it as RCM members struggle to cope with the rising cost of living and a retention crisis in maternity services. Now the RCM Board has met, and next week we will announce the next steps for our pay campaign in England and Wales. It’s up to you and thousands of other midwives and MSWs to choose whether we challenge the Government to do better. Better for you. Better for your colleagues. Better for women and families. Better for our NHS.

To become a pay activist you do not need to be a current RCM activist – the invitation is open to all in England, Wales and Scotland who are passionate about pay. However, current activists are welcome to add another badge to their collection too. See this briefing for more information. 

First step

If you are based in England and Wales, please fill in this short form to tell us you are interested in becoming a pay activist. We will then add you to a regional WhatsApp group, where you will get the latest updates on pay and where we can plan local activity to raise awareness and ensure members are being heard and that they respond to the consultation.

If you are a member in Scotland, please fill in this short form to tell us you are interested in becoming a pay activist. You will be added to our country WhatsApp group and will get the latest updates on the pay ballot and how you can raise awareness in your workplace.

We continue to work closely with other NHS unions to co-ordinate how we respond to pay and the next steps in the Deliver a Decent Deal campaign. Look out for emails from us, share the hashtag #DeliveraDecentDeal on social media and support your colleagues by sharing what the RCM can do to support them and join the RCM.

By standing together we can achieve change.