Members of the Royal College of Midwives in England have voted to accept the latest NHS pay offer, following a consultation which closed yesterday.
In a turnout of 48% of eligible RCM midwife and maternity support worker (MSW) members working in the NHS in England, 57% voted to accept the deal, with 43% rejecting.
Alice Sorby, Director of Employment Relations at the RCM, said: “The offer was not perfect, and it was not everything we asked for or that midwives and MSWs deserve. However, it was a step forward from the Government’s entrenched position on 2022/23 pay and improved on its directions to the Pay Review Body for 2023/24. It was the power of the collective unions standing together, with our members behind us, that brought the Government to the table and led to this improved offer.”
The Government’s pay offer followed intense negotiations with the RCM and other health unions. It builds on the consolidated £1,400 - or 4% for most RCM members - pay award already imposed for 2022/23. The offer included a non-consolidated lump sum of 2% of an individual’s salary, plus a one-off ‘backlog bonus’. The lump will be worth at least worth at least £1,250, with many midwives receiving over £2,000. For 2023/24 there will be a consolidated 5% pay award and an increase to band 1 and the bottom of band 2 of 10.4 per cent. This will see entry-level pay in the NHS increase to £11.45 per hour, bringing a much-needed uplift for lower paid staff, says the RCM.
Alice Sorby added, “I hope now that we can move forward and work together to resolve the issues facing maternity services. This is also about staffing levels, lack of investment and improving working conditions for staff and better care for women, because you cannot have one without the other. Just last week the Government said that the pressure on maternity services was unsustainable. The midwives and MSWs who should rightly receive this pay offer have known that for a long, long time, and many are leaving because the strain is simply too much. We still need to stem the tide of people leaving the NHS. That needs more investment and more staff, and quickly.”
There is a meeting of the NHS Staff Council - made up of health unions, employers and Government representatives - on 2 May to discuss the outcomes of the consultations by each union and report back to government.