Implementation of non-pay elements of 2023 deal secured for Scotland members

By Implementation of non-pay elements of 2023 deal secured for Scotland members on 01 March 2024 Pay Pay and Agenda For Change Midwives Maternity Services MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Scotland RCM Scotland NHS Scotland Scottish Maternity Services

In a significant win for its members in Scotland the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has announced that its secured agreement and implementation of outstanding non pay elements of the 2023 negotiations.

RCM calls for a reduction in the working week have been accepted. The first of three staggered 30-minute reductions in the full-time working week for all Agenda for Change (AFC) staff will commence from 1 April.

A reduction in the working week alongside protected learning time is something the RCM has long called for. They were both negotiated within the AFC review that the RCM together with Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (STAC) raised with the Scottish Cabinet Minister during last year’s pay negotiations.

Commenting, RCM’s National Officer for Scotland, Emma Currer, said:

“We are delighted to share this news with our members. A reduction in the working week with no loss of pay is something the RCM has long been lobbying for. We believe it’s the least our hardworking members deserve and are pleased to finally have an implementation date on this. As full-time hours are reducing from April to 37 per week, any members working overtime above this will be paid at overtime rate.”

Members with contracts of less than 37.5 hours will have this applied on a pro rata basis. What this effectively means says the RCM is that the hourly rate of pay increases, with members working fewer hours for the same pay.

In the event that a local Health Board cannot fully implement the agreement in a particular department due to service pressures, safe staffing or wellbeing, staff will be recompensed accordingly until such time as the service can accommodate their working week reduction.

In a letter to NHS unions this week Cabinet Secretary Neil Gray also confirmed that protected learning time will also be implemented in Scotland from 1 April.

The Scottish Government has also confirmed that work around the monitoring of completion rates during working hours and examining the “Once for Scotland” approach to mandatory training and training passports is underway. The RCM says it pleased to see the Scottish Government commitment to these STAC recommendations.

Emma added:

“Protected learning time is vital for midwives, maternity care assistants and all healthcare staff. Far too often, due to pressures in services, training and learning is postponed, which can significantly impact student midwives and those in training. So, we are pleased that through our work with STAC we have also achieved this for members in Scotland.”

The RCM is reminding its members that those impacted by the work week reduction may not receive remuneration immediately. Where this is the case, backdating of pay will take place once the relevant changes have been made to payroll systems.

For now, the RCM’s 2024/35 pay campaign to deliver a decent deal for its members continues.