On September 29th the RCM announced it would be organising Midwifery Strike Action. This video is a quick fire summary of what’s happening:
This is the first time ever that midwives have decided to strike.
Basically, the strike on 13th October is being organised so mums are babies are NOT in danger. The staffing will be similar to how it is on bank holidays. However, it’s difficult to know how things will pan out on the day. The RCM ‘guarantees’ safety of mums and babies despite midwifery strike action.
No-one wants to put Mums and Babies at risk.
It’s a really big decision to strike, and you have to think carefully about whether or not it’s for you. However, nearly 95% of members balloted by the RCM said ‘yes’ to midwifery strike action.
After the strike, ‘action short of a strike’ will be taken to keep making a point about pay. This will involve midwives not working overtime without being paid, and taking their breaks no matter what.
The strike is about fair pay.
Inflation goes up year by year, meaning products and service are more expensive. Pay has not increased to meet this. Hence midwives are getting paid less to do the same job. The RCM is trying to address this.
I can’t tell you what the right or wrong thing to do is here (and it’s not for me to say!). I can tell you that midwives I talked to in New Zealand who went on strike in the 1980s found it very difficult and struggled with their consciences, but also felt they were striking overall for the care of women and babies. A fair wage for midwives I would have thought means healthy midwives able to take care of themselves, and therefore able to do their seriously important job.
The RCM says: ‘ We believe that the Government’s treatment of NHS staff will affect care because staff that are demoralised cannot deliver the quality of care that NHS users, including women and babies, deserve. We believe that investing in staff is an investment in better care. ’
What’s your view? Please let me know, especially if you are a student or applying to the profession?
Pretty please? I’d love to know whether you would be striking in a midwife’s position, or whether you think you’d take strike action, whether you think it’s irresponsible, whether you think midwives are greedy considering the credit crunch or anything else!
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