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Midwives to vote on industrial action

20th July 2007

Midwives in England are set to vote on whether to take industrial action over pay.

Premature Baby

It is believed that the industrial action ballot for midwives will stop short of an all-out strike but it does follow a move by the Royal College of Nursing to send papers to its members to see if they were prepared to vote over strike action.

The move for midwives and nurses follows the government’s decision to offer a 2.5% pay rise in two stages with 1.5% backdated to April and the final 1% offered in November. This, say unions, equates to a rise of only 1.9% over the year.

Devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have already agreed to pay nurses and midwives the full amount in one go.

The RCM say any action must not affect expectant mothers and babies but could include a ban on working overtime, working to contracted hours, taking lunch breaks and finishing on time.

RCM general secretary Karlene Davis said: “It is sad that midwives have been pushed to this point. They are working harder and harder, delivering more and more babies with fewer midwives.

"To top this off they are not even given their full pay award, unlike their colleagues in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This is not about midwives asking for inflation busting pay rises, they are simply asking for fair play and fair pay.?

The Department of Health say discussions continue with the unions about the 2007/08 pay award. The RCM will know by September whether midwives favour industrial action.

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