Midwives in Scotland to be consulted on latest pay offer

Midwives are to be consulted on the latest pay offer made to NHS staff in Scotland.

The proposed pay rise, which will cover midwives, maternity support workers (MSWs) and other NHS staff, was tabled by the Scottish Government on Thursday.

According to the Government, the deal would mean NHS staff north of the border remain the best paid in the UK, with wage rises ranging from £2,205 to £2,751.

For the lowest paid, it means an increase of 11.3%, with an average rise of 7.5%.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said on Friday that it will discuss the proposed offer with members next week.

It comes after RCM members voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action in a ballot earlier this month.

Jaki Lambert, RCM director for Scotland, said: “The combined power of our members’ voices has driven the Scottish Government to rethink and come back with a better and more rounded offer.

“It is right that now our members consider the offer and that they decide whether or not to accept it.

“It does not give us everything we asked for, but it is a positive step with firm commitments from the Scottish Government to continue to look at improving pay and other areas of concern to midwives.

“It is one that will make a difference to many of our members and that we feel they should be consulted on.

“The determination of midwives and MSWs to take industrial action for better pay, better working conditions and for a better maternity service for women has brought us to this point.

“They stood up to be counted and the Government listened.”

RCM Scotland said that for many of its members, the latest pay deal is the biggest pay offer made to date.

MSWs will see a meaningful pay rise, as will newly qualified and midwives.

The union said the deal is significantly less beneficial to more senior midwives, but it does commit to keeping their overtime payments.

The offer also addresses issues affecting midwives and MSWs that came out of an RCM Scotland survey of its members earlier this year, RCM said.

These included members not getting enough time for critical professional development and a push for keeping better mileage rates for NHS staff using their own cars for work.

The latest deal also includes plans to reduce the working week to 36 hours with no loss of earnings, and commitments to begin pay negotiations for next year.

Ms Lambert said: “This was also never just about pay, though there are some improvements on that in this offer.

“Our members’ concerns were also around the quality and safety of care they can give.

“This deal moves us further along that road and starts to address some of these issues, with firm commitments from the Government to fix these problems for the benefit of maternity staff and the women they care for.

“I met with the Cabinet Secretary (Humza Yousaf) last night and today he has given his commitment to significant pieces of work that will make a difference to midwives.

“This will also help maternity services retain staff and bring more in. This is a significant breakthrough and that is why we will be consulting our members on this improved deal.”