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Northern Ireland's 'ignored' midwives are set to hold strike vote over pay

By Michael McHugh

Midwives in Northern Ireland are to be balloted on strike action over pay.

The Royal College of Midwives' (RCM) 1,200 members will be consulted later this month and the action is expected to take place in early May. This would be the first industrial action of this kind in its history.

Chief executive Cathy Warwick said: "Midwives are at the end of their tether."

Northern Ireland is the only country in the UK not to have an agreement for pay in 2015/16. Scotland paid the recommended increase and England and Wales negotiated agreements.

Ms Warwick said the step had not been taken lightly.

She said: "The staff in Northern Ireland have been ignored."

Last year was the first time in the history of the RCM that it balloted for industrial action in England and this will be the first time in its history that it will ballot in Northern Ireland.

The senior trade unionist added: "Of course, it goes without saying RCM members will not put the safety and care of women and babies at risk."

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