The Royal College of Midwives has formally become an affiliate of the umbrella body the Trades Union Congress.
The announcement means the RCM is the first royal college to become a member of the TUC.
The decision was made yesterday afternoon by the TUC General Council, according to a statement issued by the college.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We are delighted that the RCM has taken the historic step of becoming the newest member of the TUC.
“We look forward to working more closely,” she said. “Membership of the TUC brings substantial benefits from both an employment relations and professional perspective – opening up additional opportunities for collaborative working.”
“Membership of the TUC brings substantial benefits from both an employment relations and professional perspective”
Ms O’Grady added: “Together with our other affiliates, we will continue to defend and champion our NHS and public services, which are the bedrock to a strong economy and a just society.”
Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM, said: “This is wonderful news and we are delighted to be affiliated to the TUC.
“This is a positive step and is important to us not only from the union perspective but also for the RCM’s professional work,” she said.
“[Membership] will bring many benefits to the RCM, but most importantly to our members”
“It will bring many benefits to the RCM, but most importantly to our members, such as access to an even wider range of educational, learning and training opportunities,” she added.
The college submitted its application to become a TUC affiliate in May.
The move follows the increasingly militant stance taken by the RCM over the last 18 months. Its members went on strike for the first time in their history as part of last year’s dispute over NHS pay.