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NHS strikes: Midwives in England vote to accept NHS pay offer

NHS strikes: Midwives in England vote to accept NHS pay offer

Midwives in England have voted to accept the latest NHS pay offer, the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says.
The offer covers two years and includes an additional one-off amount for 2022/23 and and 5% rise for 2023/24.

Nurses with the Royal College of Nursing have already turned down the offer and they plan more strike action. Members of the Society of Radiographers also voted against it.

The RCM said the offer was "not perfect" but was a "step forward".

The vote saw a turnout of 48% of eligible members working in the NHS in England, with 57% voting to accept the deal and 43% rejecting it.

The offer was also made to NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts - which include most workers apart from doctors, dentists and senior managers.

Alice Sorby, director of employment relations at the RCM, added "the collective unions standing together, with our members behind us, that brought the government to the table and led to this improved offer".

Members of Unison, the largest NHS union, also voted overwhelmingly to accept the pay offer aimed at resolving the long-running NHS dispute.

Other unions including Unite, GMB and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists are due to announce their ballot results over the coming days.

A government spokesperson said the decision by the RCN to accept the pay offer showed it is a fair and reasonable proposal that can bring this dispute to an end".

The NHS Staff Council - made up of health unions, employers and Government representatives - is due to meet on 2 May and will report back to the government on the outcome of consultations from the unions.

Members of the RCN are due to begin a 48-hour strike on 30 April. Health Secretary Steve Barclay said he was applying to the High Court to declare the walkout on 2 May unlawful arguing the mandate runs out the day before.

However, Mr Barclay shared a letter on Twitter on Wednesday evening in which he appeared to suggest the RCN had not submitted any legal argument that the action planned for 2 May is lawful.

In the letter, which he had written to RCN general secretary Pat Cullen, he says that he understands that the RCN's legal team have been instructed not to attend court.

If the government succeeds the strike would still start on Sunday at 20;00 BST but would have to end earlier on 1 May.

The union's general secretary Pat Cullen wrote an email to staff on Wednesday evening saying "we expect that ministers could be successful in putting their full weight on the court."

She went on to add that "if they win, we'll be letting members know that the strike will end at midnight on Monday 1 May and not the following evening."

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