Write to your elected representatives about pay
The final decision about what happens to the pay of midwives and other healthcare workers is taken by politicians. For this current (2022/23) pay round, in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Pay Review Body will make recommendations, but it will be up to politicians in each of those countries to decide whether to accept and implement them. In Scotland, pay will be negotiated through collective bargaining.
Those politicians are in post to serve you, and they can be influenced by you too. You are their constituents, and – in the end – it is you who gets to decide at election time if you want them to keep their job or not. They listen to you, even if sometimes it can feel like they don’t.
One of the most effective ways in which anyone who supports better pay for midwives and other health service staff can help is simply to write to their MP. Everyone across the whole UK can do this. Plus, if you live in Scotland you can write to Members of the Scottish Parliament; in Wales to Members of the Senedd; and in Northern Ireland to Members of the Legislative Assembly. For everyone in Northern Ireland, you can also – until 5 May – raise these issues with candidates in the Assembly elections.
It is really easy to write to the politicians who represent you. Go to WriteToThem.com, input your postcode, and the site knows who all your local politicians are and can send your message, free, directly to them.
Some people write to their elected representatives often, others may never have written, but right now is the perfect time to send them a message calling for a decent, inflation-proof pay rise.
What to include?
- Tell them about how you are being affected by the cost of living crisis. What is happening to your energy bills? What about how much you are paying for food, for petrol or for public transport fares? Real-world examples of how the cost of living crisis is hitting you are really effective. We know that MPs are worried about this, so tell them about the reality of it.
- Taxes like National Insurance are going up. Pension contributions are going up. Prices are rising fast and staff have had years of pay freezes and low pay rises. If you are feeling the impact of these things, tell them.
- In many areas, midwife numbers are falling. Tell them how hard you are having to work, and how hard it has been to work in the NHS since the start of the pandemic. Tell them that a decent, inflation-proof pay rise would help retain existing staff.
- If you are having financial difficulties and are comfortable telling them about it, please do so.
- Tell them you support a decent, inflation-proof pay rise – and ask them to write to the Prime Minister (if writing to an MP) or the First Minister (if writing to other politicians) in support of this.
It is as simple as that. Be clear and polite. A short message is good, and be sure to ask them for a reply.
You may get a reply that seems disappointing, where they don’t say anything very supportive, but don’t think that means your message hasn’t had an impact. We know from speaking to politicians confidentially that they will be speaking with ministers and others behind the scenes to try to get a better deal, even if they feel they can’t speak about it publicly. Every single message helps, and the more the better.