Midwives may strike25th May 2007
Midwives will think about industrial action for the first time following a pay offer by the government.
An offer of 1.5% - followed by an additional 1% in the future - was made to midwives in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Midwives would like a rise of 2.5% straight away, to tally with the rise given to midwives working in Scotland.
Midwives have approached union heads to contemplate the possibility of industrial action. In mid-May, the Royal College of Nursing said it would be consulting its members in order to find out if they wished to be balloted about the issue.
Members of Royal College of Midwives (RCM) attending its conference said the union's governing council should think about asking its 37,000 members about the topic.
The RCM said, according to the BBC, that "if action was taken it would fall short of an all-out strike as they did not want to harm patient care, but it could include working to rule."
A Department of Health spokesman said the government wanted to ensure NHS staff were more well paid, and commented: "Maximum basic pay for frontline midwives has increased by 65% since 1997."
The RCM stated that a midwife earning £26,700 a year would stand to lose £700 because of the current rate of inflation of 4.5%.
RCM general secretary Dame Karlene Davis said: "There is a groundswell of discontent among midwives on this issue and it is one that the government ignores at its peril."
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Title: Midwives may strike
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 2949
Date Added: 25th May 2007