Members of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) in England have voted to accept the NHS’ latest pay offer, following a consultation earlier this week.
A total of 57% of eligible RCM midwife and maternity support workers voted to accept the deal and 43% rejected it, with an overall turnout of 48%.
The pay deal built on the consolidated £1,400 or 4% pay award imposed for 2022/23 and included a non-consolidated lump sum of 2% of salary, and a one-off backlog bonus. The lump sum was worth at least £1,250, with many midwives set to receive more than £2,000.
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For 2023/24, there will be a consolidated 5% pay award and a 10.4% increase to band one and the bottom of band two, which will see entry-level pay rise to £11.45 per hour.
Alice Sorby, director of employment relations at the RCM, said: “The offer was not perfect, and it was not everything we asked for or that midwives and MSWs deserve. However, it was a step forward from the government’s entrenched position on 2022/23 pay and improved on its directions to the pay review body for 2023/24. It was the power of the collective unions standing together, with our members behind us, that brought the government to the table and led to this improved offer.
“I hope now that we can move forward and work together to resolve the issues facing maternity services. This is also about staffing levels, lack of investment and improving working conditions for staff and better care for women.”
The NHS Staff Council, made up of health unions, employers and government representatives, will meet on 2 May to discuss the outcomes of the consultations by each union and report back to the government.
Steve Barclay, health and social care secretary, said: “I hugely admire the incredible work of NHS staff, including during the pandemic and the progress they have made to tackle the resulting backlog.
“This offer will give nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists and other non-medical staff a fair pay rise while protecting our commitment to halve inflation.
“We have engaged in constructive and meaningful discussions with unions and NHS Employers and I look forward to continuing our work together to make the NHS a better place to work.”