England’s midwives have voted overwhelmingly to join thousands of other NHS staff in strike action next month.
It will be the first time members of the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have gone on strike in the 133-year history of the organisation.
Midwives will join NHS members of the Unison and Unite unions in a four-hour walkout on Monday 13 October, in a dispute over the Government’s decision to deny NHS staff an across-the-board 1-per-cent pay rise this year.
Members of the RCM voted 82 per cent to 18 per cent in favour of strike action. RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick said the “resounding yes … could not send a clearer signal about the level of discontent on this issue”.
She said that midwives would work with the NHS to ensure that mothers and babies would not be put at risk by the industrial action.
“I want to reassure women expecting a baby that midwives will continue to look after them and that they will be safe,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health said the Government was “disappointed” by midwives’ decision, adding that the NHS could not afford the pay rise on top of existing incremental pay increases, which are received by many staff.Reuse content