RCM suspends Northern Ireland strike ballot

The RCM has suspended its ballot for industrial action in Northern Ireland after negotiations with the newly-appointed Health Minister.

 The outline agreement will see Northern Ireland midwives and maternity support workers receive pay parity with health workers in England, backdated to 1 April 2019, a key demand from the RCM. The RCM will now be consulting its members and will be recommending acceptance of the offer.

RCM Director for Northern Ireland Karen Murray said: “This has been hard won and hard fought for. We have negotiated intensively on behalf of our members to get to this point. Within just a few days of the Assembly restarting we have got a fair pay deal on the table for our members.

“We are recommending our members accept this offer and I urge them to respond to our consultation. This is a very positive step forward after falling behind other UK health workers on pay. Our actions and that of other unions has put pressure on the government and led to this agreement.”

 A consultation of RCM members starts today on outline agreement, running for three weeks until February 3.

 Karen Murray said: “It is perhaps fitting that, as we begin to celebrate the International Year of the Midwife, our government has recognised how important midwives and our maternity support workers are, and the contribution they make to the health and wellbeing of women. It shows that by taking a stand and using the power of unions and our members we have got a fair pay deal for our midwives and maternity support workers.”

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