RCM ramps up pay campaign as members give evidence to Pay Review Body

on 28 February 2024 Midwives Midwifery Maternity Services MSWs - Maternity Support Workers RCM Member RCM Pay Government NHS NHS Wales NHS Staff NHS England NHS Funding NHS Pay Review Body RCM CEO

Members of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) were in London this week giving oral evidence about the real, lived experience of midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) to the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB). They were joined by RCM’s General Secretary Gill Walton who also urged the PRB to consider the bigger picture when it comes to pay and staff retention.

The RCM has also told the PRB that while its members England and Wales accepted pay offers in 2023, these did not address the real terms pay cuts suffered over more than a decade and cannot resolve the workforce crisis in the NHS.

Commenting, RCM’s Director for Employment Relations, Alice Sorby said:

 “Having submitted our evidence to the PRB earlier this month, yesterday gave us another opportunity to raise key issues related to our pay campaign. We were able tell the PRB about the impact that the below inflation pay awards in 2023 have had on our members. Improving pay is also crucial lever in retaining staff in addition flexible working opportunities. On that we have seen some progress in Wales, with all Wales Flexible Working Policy being implemented, and in England new flexible working provisions were introduced in 2021 but much more needs to be done to make these changes a reality for midwives and MSW's.”

The RCM has also highlighted structural issues facing a number of pay bands, particularly affects those moving between bands 2-3 and 7-8a. It is also calling for more investment in the job evaluation scheme and better career progression opportunities for its members.

MSW Keelie Barrett after giving evidence said: “Speaking to the PRB today gave us a good opportunity to explain why an above inflation pay increase is a must for all RCM members. It’s especially important for ensuring that those at the bottom of band 2 cannot fall below the living wage.”

The RCM’s written evidence to the PRB also called for a PRB recommendation to the Government to commit to the real living wage and a consolidated across the board pay increase for all RCM members.

Speaking about her experience giving evidence, midwife Toni Wood said: “It felt good being able to contribute to the pay discussion and I now have a greater understanding of the process. The PRB panel were keen to hear our voices. Overall, our message was that staff have to be valued and paid fairly.”

The RCM has also called out that again the Government is delaying the pay process as it along with NHS England are yet to submit their evidence. This they say further erodes morale and impacts negatively on members perception of the whole PRB process.

You can keep up to date on all the latest developments in 2024/25 pay campaign here