Controverisal plans to regionalise NHS pay discussed today across Gloucestershire
A union will speak out in Gloucestershire today against plans for regional pay for NHS staff in the south west.
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is campaigning against the change.
Three meetings will be held today about the issue at at Dilke Memorial Hospital in Cinderford, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust in Gloucester and Stroud General Hospital.
Along with other unions the RCM argues that regional pay will dramatically damage the local economy in the South West in already uncertain times.
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It says in the past ten years there has been a 25 per cent increase in the number of babies born in the south west leaving a desperate shortage of midwives. It says trust plans for regional pay will exacerbate the shortage as hospitals lose skilled midwives, leaving mothers and babies in the region short-changed.
Amy Leversidge, employment relations advisor at the RCM will be speaking at the meetings, she said: "Midwives in Gloucestershire and across the south west are rightly concerned at plans by trusts in the region to break away from national pay agreements.
"Midwives have already seen their pay frozen over the past two years and are now facing an estimated pay cut of 15 per cent just for working in the south west. National agreements ensure fairness and it is appalling that trusts have paid £10,000 each to join up to the cartel. The plans by the cartel are short-sighted, do not have political backing and will alienate hard working midwives and other NHS staff."
The RCM are holding a number of meeting across the south west throughout October and November on plans for regional pay in the region.
The issue will also be discussed and debated at the RCM's Annual Workplace Representative Conference in Brighton on Wednesday, November 14.