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RCM launches member consultation on NHS pay offer with call to accept the deal

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The Royal College of Midwives has today launched its membership consultation on the NHS pay proposals negotiated between the government, employers and unions.

The RCM’s online consultation will run until 31 May. It follows the launch yesterday of a vote by fellow union Unite. Similar exercises are already underway by the Royal College of Nursing and Unison.

The proposals would see midwives and maternity support workers receive pay increases of at least 6.5% over three years, and an extra 1.1% in year two for those on the top of their pay band.

Some staff could see increases of even more under changes to pay bandings and increments, noted the college, which has called on its members to back the deal.

In addition, the deal would mean staff progress through pay bands and reach the top of each band quicker, as the number of increments in each one will be reduced. Starting salaries will also rise.

“This is a good deal for our members and is better than any other public sector pay offer”

Gill Walton

Meanwhile, unsocial hours payments, annual leave entitlements and sick pay have all been protected as part of the deal, stated the college.

However, there has been disquiet in some areas that the pay rise is not high enough, given the recent years of pay freezes and then the 1% pay rise cap, and the likely level of inflation.

In addition, suggestions of much bigger rises for some have also been criticised as misleading, with critics saying extra money gained via band restructuring should be viewed as separate to the basic pay increase.

The negotiations, which concluded in March, came after the chancellor Philip Hammond and health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt scrapped the 1% cap on public sector pay rises.

The RCM said its board was recommending that members accept the proposals as the “best that can be achieved through negotiation”.

It also highlighted that accepting the deal would represent the start of ending the pay restraint that midwives and maternity support workers have endured since 2010.

Gill Walton, RCM chief executive and general secretary, said: “This is a good deal for our members and is better than any other public sector pay offer.

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Gill Walton

“We have fought off attempts to reduce unsocial hours payments and change sick pay, and got significant increases in pay for many members and a good increase for most,” she said.

She added: “This is a major achievement in the current climate and it is a deal that I and the RCM board urge our members to accept.”

Back in October 2014, members of the RCM went on strike for the first time in their union’s 133-year history over pay.

The industrial action followed an attempt by the coalition government not to introduce a 1% blanket pay increase for all NHS staff against a backdrop of increasing financial difficulties.

RCM members wishing to take part in the consultation can do so at the college’s website between now and the end of the month. 

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