Following a consultation of individual members and branches, 99.7% of Royal College of Midwives members voted to reject the multi-year deal, which is worth 8% in total. The deal is being described by the college as a ‘real terms pay-cut’ because of the increasing inflation levels predicted for the next three years.
Nearly all voted in favour of taking the NHS Pay Review Body’s recommendation of 2.75% for one year only. However, the government has previously said this not an option. NHS chief executive David Nicholson has also warned that failure to accept the multi-year deal could result in a worse deal being offered, possibly with staging.
Dame Karlene Davis, outgoing general secretary of the RCM, said: ‘Midwives are already feeling dejected, demoralised and disillusioned, and the Government’s actions on pay are simply fuelling the fire.
‘Last year the staged pay deal raised the spectre of industrial action, and the government’s stance raises it again,’ she added.
Earlier this month, ancillary workers and ambulance staff rejected the offer in a ballot by the union Unite. An RCN consultation on the deal closes this week.