Royal College of Midwives comment on NHS pay agreement - ‘real about turn from recent years of pay stagnation’ says RCM

By RCM on 21 March 2018 Pay and Agenda For Change

Today the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the other health unions have agreed in principal a three year pay package with the Government for NHS staff. This includes midwives and maternity support workers on the NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) pay structure.* The deal means many staff will see overall pay increases of 9% to 29% over three years.  Pay for those already on the top point of each pay bands will see their pay rise by at least 6.5% over three years. As an example percentage increases for those below the top point of AfC band 6 range from 24.89% at the bottom of the band to 11.78% at the existing penultimate point after 3 years. This is the band comprising the greatest number of midwives.

There will also be quicker progression through the pay bands as these have been shortened, and NHS workers will now reach the full rate for the job quicker. Overlaps between pay bands have also been removed resulting in much better starting salaries on each band.

Also, no holidays will be lost by any staff as part of this agreement. The RCM along with the other unions also resisted any undermining of the value of unsocial hours payments. This is important to midwives providing a 24 hour, 365 day service where a third of take home earnings may come from unsocial hours enhancements. Crucially this agreement will also be fully funded by the Government and not come out of existing NHS funding.

The RCM is also pleased to see the Government recognise the need to care for NHS staff with a commitment to improve productivity through greater emphasis on staff health and wellbeing. This is a reflection of the aims of the RCM Caring for You campaign, running since 2016.

The RCM will now be consulting its members on the agreement with the results of that consultation expected at the end of May.  The member elected RCM Board backs this pay deal and recommends that RCM members accept it.

Commenting Jon Skewes, the RCM’s lead negotiator, said: “This pay deal is the best that has been achieved for any public sector workers, and one that completely breaks the Government’s pay policy of recent years. It is a real achievement and one that we and the other unions have fought hard to get for our dedicated and hardworking members.

“We have been campaigning for fair pay overdue and this deal is a very good step in the right direction. It is the start of really valuing the contribution of NHS staff.  It is also good for recruitment and retention of midwives and maternity support workers, given the chronic current shortages in maternity services.

“This is a real about turn from recent years of pay stagnation and pay freezes particularly given the current economic climate. It is a deal that I encourage our members to accept.”

Information on the pay agreement can be read at

To contact the RCM Media Office call 020 7312 3456, or email [email protected].

Note to editors

*The agreement is for NHS staff on the Agenda for Change pay structure. This includes among others midwives, nurses, physiotherapists, and podiatrists.

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at