Royal College of Midwives to ask Northern Ireland members if they are prepared to take industrial action over pay
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Elsewhere in the UK, the RCM has announced it will ballot its members from November 11 on whether to take industrial action.
In Northern Ireland, the situation is complicated by the absence of a fully functioning Assembly and the inability of the Health Minister Robin Swann to put forward a pay offer.
In a statement, the RCM said it is “completely unfair that hardworking midwives and maternity support workers (MSWs) in Northern Ireland have been left in limbo about pay for so long” and will now launch a formal consultation on pay on October 20.
RCM’s Director for Northern Ireland, Karen Murray said: “The political impasse in Northern Ireland once again means our members are on the back foot when it comes to any firm commitment around a much needed pay award. Midwives and MSWs here just like all RCM members across the UK are now really feeling the impact of the cost of living crisis and are worried about rising energy costs.
"Talking to members I know and understand how worrying this is for them. Years of below inflation pay rises, hours of overtime worked for no extra pay to plug staffing gaps is really impacting our members. Some are already looking for the door, they’ve had enough, morale is low and they feel more undervalued than ever.”