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Monday, 29 September 2014

Midwives to go on strike for first time in 133 years

Culled from Channel 4. Read what the posted below...

Members of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) backed walkouts by 82 per cent, and other forms of industrial action by 94 per cent. The action is in protest at the government's controversial decision not to pay all NHS staff a 1 per cent pay rise, as recommended by the independent pay review body.

Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM, said: "Our members have suffered three years of pay restraint and face the prospect that their pay in 2016 will only be 1 per cent higher than it was in 2010. The RCM will be meeting with employers to discuss our action and to ensure that mothers and babies are not put at any risk. I want to reassure women expecting a baby that midwives will continue to look after them and that they will be safe."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "NHS staff are our greatest asset, and we've increased the NHS budget to pay for thousands more clinical staff since 2010, including more than 1,700 more midwives since May 2010. We want to protect these increases and cannot afford a pay rise on top of increments - which disproportionately reward the highest earners - without risking frontline jobs."

Gill Bellord, director of employment relations and reward at the NHS employers' organisation, said: "It is regrettable that members of the Royal College of Midwives have agreed to take industrial action along with some of the other NHS trades unions. Employers will be concerned that this industrial action could worry pregnant women. However we welcome indications from the RCM that its members will continue to provide cover on maternity wards and work with local employers now to ensure that services can be maintained safely on the day of the proposed action."

Members of Unite and Unison have voted over the past week to take action, and will strike for four hours on 13 October, followed by other forms of industrial action. Council workers will strike on 14 October and civil servants a day later in separate disputes with the coalition.

The three days of strikes in October will be followed by other forms of industrial action, as well as a national demonstration on 18 October organised by the TUC, under the banner, Britain Needs A Pay Rise.

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