Midwives agree to pay changes
An overwhelming majority of Royal College of Midwives branches have voted to accept the proposed alterations to the Agenda for Change pay framework.
The RCM’s acceptance of the proposed changes to AfC follows similar votes by the Royal College of Nursing and Unison. Only Unite has so far rejected the proposals.
The RCM’s consultation about proposed changes to AFC in England closed last week with 94% of branches or workplaces voting to accept the changes.
Under the proposals, the national AfC pay framework will be altered to end automatic incremental pay rises, scrap enhanced out of hours sick pay, and bring an end to band 5 nurses and midwives receiving two increment rises during their first year after qualification.
Senior staff on higher pay bands could also be removed from AfC entirely and paid an individual spot salary.
However, only 70 branches or workplaces responded to the consultation out of a total of 147 – just under half.
Jon Skewes, RCM director of policy, employment relations and communications, said: “These proposals, the result of extensive negotiation, represent the most effective way of providing stability and protecting AFC as a national system of pay, terms and conditions in the NHS.
“Midwives believe that supporting these national changes is better than risking individual or groups of employers making their own changes to terms and conditions, therefore moving away from having a UK wide system. RCM branches have taken a pragmatic step to protect a national structure of pay, terms and conditions.”
The consultation ran from 11 January to 4 February through the RCM branch structure.
College branches and workplaces in England held meetings during this period to discuss the proposals and members could also respond individually if they were unable to attend the meeting.
The RCM will now be supporting the adoption of the changes to NHS staff contracts in England contained in the review at the NHS Staff Council on the 26 February.
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