Midwives in Northern Ireland to be balloted on strike action over pay
The Royal College of Midwives said its members in Northern Ireland are 'at the end of their tether'
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) will ballot its Northern Irish members on industrial action over pay.
The Northern Ireland government has said only staff at the top of their pay band will get a non-consolidated 1% pay rise and no pay deal has been announced for 2015/16.
At an extraordinary meeting yesterday, the RCM board decided unanimously to ballot after nearly 90% of members who were consulted said they were prepared to take strike action and 95% of members said they would support action short of a strike.
RCM chief executive Cathy Warwick said: ‘This is a step that our board has not taken lightly; midwives are at the end of their tether.
'They have suffered long-term pay restraint and changes to their pension and terms and conditions. Meanwhile, they are working harder and harder to deliver high-quality care with continuing shortages of midwives and daily pressures on services.’
The 1,200 members in Northern Ireland will be balloted between March 30 and April 20. They will be asked if they would take strike action and action short of a strike. If a 'yes' vote is passed, industrial action would take place in early May.