Scotland midwives vote to be balloted on industrial action over NHS pay

on 12 August 2022

Midwives in Scotland have voted overwhelmingly to be balloted on industrial action after rejecting the Scottish Government’s pay offer of 5 per cent.

The consultation was conducted by the UK’s trade union for midwives and maternity support workers the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) which saw 90 per cent of their members voting to be formally balloted on industrial action.

RCM’s Director for Scotland, Jaki Lambert, said: “Our members have made their feelings clear: they want to be balloted on industrial action. Midwives and maternity support workers are feeling undervalued and frankly, they have had enough. The Scottish Government’s sub-par pay offer will be the final straw for many members already looking for the door.

“A 5 per cent pay increase is way below inflation and is actually a real terms pay cut for our hard-working members. With inflation predicted to hit 11 per cent this year and many of our members are already struggling with the rising cost of living and they feel they’ve had no other choice but to reject the Government’s pay offer.”

A recent survey by the RCM showed seven out of 10 midwives in Scotland are considering leaving the NHS, with half of the respondents saying they rarely have enough staff to provide safe care to women.

“It is only through the incredible determination, dedication, professionalism and with midwives often working additional hours for no extra pay that services are continuing to run. We cannot continue to run maternity services without significant investment and that includes investing in existing staff. Improving retention begins with paying staff what they are worth, a wage that enables them to cope with the rapidly rising cost of living,” Jaki Lambert added.

The RCM will now launch a formal ballot on industrial action in the coming weeks to union members in Scotland.

RCM are assuring women using maternity services in Scotland that they can still expect good quality care during any potential industrial action.