The Royal College of Midwives is consulting its members on whether to launch industrial action in response to the government’s offer on NHS pay, in a move that could pave the way for strike action.
Members of the RCM working in England will receive the consultation via email on Monday. They will be asked whether they are prepared to take industrial action and if so whether they are prepared to strike or take action short of a strike.
Depending on the result the college could move to a formal ballot of members later this year.
A message to members on the website says: “The RCM is recommending that you vote ‘yes, you are prepared to take industrial action’.
“We are making this recommendation because we believe that taking action is our only chance to change the Government’s mind.”
Hundreds of NHS workers took part in protests calling for fair pay at hospitals across England on Thursday.
The RCM’s consultation follows a similar move from the Royal College of Nursing where 95 per cent of respondents said they wanted to oppose the Government’s decision on their pay. The RCN is still considering whether to ballot members for industrial action.
Unison has also warned that health workers will be balloted for industrial action in August if the government refuses to change its position.
The government in England has offered NHS staff who are at the top of their pay band a non-consolidated 1% uplift for 2014 and a non-consolidated 2% uplift for 2015.
A non-consolidated award means any rise will not be carried forward to following years.
Staff who are not at the top of their pay band will receive no uplift in 2014 or 2015 but will receive any Agenda for Change incremental rises they are entitled to.
Unions are angry that the government has rejected the recommendations of the Pay Review Body which said staff should receive a 1% consolidated uplift. The Scottish Government have awarded the full 1% while Wales and Northern Ireland have yet to announce what they will pay.