Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Pay Rise?

Well, we have a pay rise. How very generous of the pay review body to grant us 2.9% and the good news is that we will not be getting it all until the Autumn. In real terms this works out as a PAY CUT not a PAY RISE when the inflation rate is taken into account. What other profession in the world would put up with such patronizing and insulting treatment? It's funny, but the doctors are having a 25% pay rise - now, that's more like it. I wonder why the government thinks it can treat other health professionals so shabbily?
Midwives are health professionals, the same as doctors, with a high degree of autonomy and accoutability that is governed by statute. Our profession deserves and needs a pay rise. Not only because it is necessary to have the extra money to pay the bills but to make us feel that we have some worth - we don't just do the job because we like it and want to do good but because we need to earn money to pay for mortgages etc. and have some kind of life, like, you know, holidays and pleasant things like that.
The question often asked is the one - why are midwives leaving the profession? Simple, not paid enough for the level of responsibility and the amount of hours they work for starters. With this mass exodus from the profession, who is going to look after all the many thousands of pregnant women, women in labour and afterwards if midwives are finally forced to leave the profession simply because they cannot afford to work in it any more? Not the doctors that's for sure - they usually run a mile when presented with a pregnant woman, and as for the GP that will not support one of his women patients who wants a home birth for example, why should they claim the extra fee they receive for giving care to all the pregnant women on their books when they don’t give any of the care?

If midwives continue to leave and are not replaced, then doctors will have to take over their care, conduct all the normal deliveries or women will go without care which could be catastrophic and worse end up delivering their babies on their own (which is against the law, in effect) so they could end up being prosecuted as well!!
Come on government - wake up and pay us what we are worth and on the same level as the doctors before it is too late.

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