Welsh midwives have voted to join millions of workers striking this month

‘Overworked’ and ‘exhausted’ the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) have announced members will be taking strike action over a ‘disappointing and unacceptable’ pay award worth around 4% this year.

Initially reported by the BBC, 55% of midwives in Wales responded to the RCM ballot with 91% voting to take strike action. Any decision to take industrial action must be approved by the RCM’s elected board. The union have said it will now look at the result of the ballot and consider the next steps.

woman in red shirt wearing blue goggles

However, English midwives were not as successful. In England, the RCM said only 47% of its 28,000 members voted in the ballot, falling short of the 50% needed to enforce strike action.  

Midwives in England said the vote result exposed the flaws in the law around industrial action and the Welsh government said it recognises the strength of feeling in the NHS.

Julie Richards, Director for Wales at the RCM, said: ‘Midwives in Wales are exhausted. The disappointing and unacceptable 4% pay offer simply reinforced their feelings of being overlooked.

‘Taking industrial action is always a last resort, and the decision taken by our members…shows just how desperate they are for policy makers to listen.

‘The Welsh government must now do so to get maternity services in Wales back on track, and to stop the inevitable exodus of demoralised staff.’

In addition to Midwives, physiotherapy staff in England and Wales have voted to take strike action in their first ever ballot on pay. Jill Taylor, Chair of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s pay committee, said staff are ‘exhausted’ and ‘overworked’ leaving them no choice.

Ms Taylor said: ‘We need to attract people to the NHS and we need to keep people in the NHS. We simply cannot do this until the government gives NHS staff a fairer pay award.’ 

As well as midwives, teachers, nurses and ambulance staff across the UK have also voted to strike, with their walkout’s planned for this month.

Photo by MedicAlert UK


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