MIDWIVES will be the latest set of NHS workers to go on strike over pay.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) has said of the 10,536 midwives that took part nationally, 8,464 – 82 per cent – voted for strike action.
They are due to join other staff, including nurses, healthcare assistants and porters, in a walk-out on October 13.
The strike is due to go on for four hours, but the RCM said midwives will be there for women giving birth.
Instead, it will be ante-natal and post-natal appointments that will be affected by the strike which starts at 7am.
Gill Walton is head of midwifery for Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.
She said: ‘Portsmouth maternity services will continue to provide essential services during the four-hour strike by RCM members. Women in labour will be supported as usual.
‘The service is working with the RCM to agree what will be provided but we are assured that it will similar cover to a bank holiday. The safety of mothers and babies are our priority during this campaign.’
The walkout will be followed by four days of action short of a strike. This is likely to involve staff refusing to work unpaid overtime.
Cathy Warwick, chief executive of the RCM, which has 26,000 members, said: ‘This is a resounding yes. It could not send a clearer signal about the level of discontent on this issue.
‘The RCM will be meeting with employers to discuss our action and to ensure that mothers and babies are not put at any risk. I want to reassure women expecting a baby that midwives will continue to look after them and that they will be safe.’
As well as voting on a strike, 94 per cent said they were in favour of industrial action short of a strike. Nearly half of midwives eligible voted in the ballot.