April 2024 update

The RCM have submitted supplementary evidence to the Pay Review Body (PRB). It includes the results from the RCM’s recent all members’ snap poll on unpaid hours. It also highlights some of the results from the NHS staff survey that were both published after our PRB written evidence and oral evidence session earlier this year which you can read more about here.


The RCM has now submitted its evidence to the PRB for the 2024/25 pay round, making the case for midwives and MSWs. You can read our evidence here.

As in previous years, we highlighted the impact that delays to the publication of the remit letter by the Westminster Government have on the morale and motivation of midwives and MSWs and the continued focus from the Secretary of State on the affordability of a pay award.

Pay still hasn’t recovered from years of stagnation and there is no resolution to the growing crisis in maternity services without fair pay.

Whilst we are in a different context than last year when we were in dispute with the Westminster  government over the 2022/23 pay award, issues around pay remain.

Though RCM members in England  accepted the pay offer in 2023, it did not address the real terms pay cuts suffered over more than a decade and cannot resolve the workforce crisis in the NHS. Although non-consolidated payments provided a cash injection during a cost of living crisis they do not address longer-term pay losses or support the recruitment and retention of staff. It is imperative that a pay award for 2024/25 is consolidated across the board.

RCM asks the pay review body to make a recommendation of:

  • A real terms pay increase that starts to address the pay cuts our members have faced.
  • A commitment to the real living wage
  • A consolidated across the board pay increase

We also want to see:

  • A credible plan to restore the pay lost by NHS staff
  • A Government commitment to fund any recommendations that come out of non-pay working groups
  • The government to commit to working with unions to put equalities at the heart of the bargaining process
  • Action on retention to:
  • Ensure banding outcomes reflect job content
  • Reward additional hours fairly
  • Prevent burnout by limiting excess hours
  • Support progression and career development

Our evidence this year draws on:

  • A survey of Heads of Midwifery (HoMs) and Directors of Midwifery (DoMs) from across the UK, conducted in the final quarter of 2023, which received 45 responses; A survey of RCM members in England, carried out in March 2023, which received just under 4000 responses;
  • Listening sessions with over 100 activists held in November and December 2023; and
  • Official workforce data and results from the most recent NHS Staff Survey in England.

Protect The Right to Strike

Minimum Service Levels in hospitals – The Strikes Act

The RCM responded to the Government consultation on Minimum Service Levels in Hospital settings. We absolutely oppose the introduction of this legislation which comes from the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act. The Strikes Act is unfair, undemocratic it undermines the fundamental right to take strike action.

In our response we said that MSLs are not needed, they would mean that work notices could be issued requiring NHS workers to work during industrial action. Failure to comply with a work notice could to lead to being sacked for taking part in lawful industrial action.

 This can only further damage the morale and motivation of a workforce already burnt out and exhausted that instead of addressing the real issues affecting maternity services, including maternity safety, the Government is instead wasting its time on this draconian, unnecessary policy

If the Government had spent its time focused on increasing the number of midwives working in the NHS in England that would have done far more to improve the safety of care than all the effort so far wasted on MSLs.

We also spoke at the TUC’s Special Congress to oppose this legislation, read all about that here.

The RCM has also joined the TUC’s Protect the Right to Strike Campaign and together with Activist’s and members we have joined various marches and demonstrations, the latest of which happened in January 2024 – read more about that here

Pay deal summary

The agreement includes a non-consolidated lump sum for 2022/23 (on top of the already imposed £1,400 or 4% pay award), a 5% consolidated offer for 2023/24 and a series of non-pay elements.

We received a number of enquiries from members that work on the bank about their eligibility for the non-consolidated bonuses. The frequently asked questions on the NHS Employers website cover eligibility and these are copied below;


  1. Who is eligible for the non-consolidated payments?

These non-consolidated payments will cover staff directly employed by NHS organisations (for example, permanent and fixed term contracts) as set out in Annex 1 of the handbook on Agenda for Change terms as of 31 March 2023

  1. Will bank staff and those outside direct employment receive the non-consolidated payments?

These non-consolidated payments cover staff directly employed by NHS organisations (e.g. staff on permanent and fixed term contracts) as set out in Annex 1 of the handbook on Agenda for Change terms as of 31 March 2023. However, there may be local contractual arrangements that need to be considered.

This means that the majority of members that work on the bank won’t be eligible for the non-consolidated bonus payments. There are some bank contracts that mirror Agenda for Change pay scales and terms and conditions, so you should check your contract and ask your employer what they intend to do. If you are unsure about your bank contract you should speak to your workplace representative or email us at [email protected] 

You can find out exactly what the pay offer means for you by visiting the NHS Employer's website. There are also answers to frequently asked questions. These have been developed by the Department of Health and Social Care, and provide advice on pay, eligibility and the offer. These are also available on the NHS Employers website and can be found by clicking here.

Share your story with us

Midwives and MSWs sharing what it is like to work in maternity services at the moment has a huge impact. Tell us about staffing levels in your unit, about the impact of the cost of living on you and your colleagues - anything that you think would be relevant to our arguments for a fair pay offer.

We’ll take your testimony to the Government, policymakers and employers as part of our pay negotiations.

If you are willing to share your story please contact Alice Sorby, Director of Employment Relations on [email protected].