MIDWIVES at the Vale of Leven Hospital's community maternity unit are among those set to have their say on potential industrial action.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) in Scotland recently announced that it will ballot its members over a four-week period, from September 29 until October 27.

The announcement comes as midwives, maternity support workers (MSWs) and maternity care assistants (MCAs) overwhelmingly rejected the Scottish Government’s pay offer of five per cent in August.

In the highest ever turnout for an RCM pay consultation in Scotland, almost 90 percent of RCM members who voted said they wanted to be formally balloted on industrial action.

The RCM says if members vote to take action safe services will be maintained and has reassured women in Scotland that they can still expect to receive good quality maternity care should industrial action go ahead.

Jaki Lambert, RCM’s director for Scotland said: “We have gotten to this point because the Scottish Government failed to address the crucial issues we laid out in our pay claim earlier this year.

"We warned them that our members were at breaking point and that failing to deliver a pay increase that would match the rate of inflation could be detrimental to recruitment and retention of midwives and maternity support workers.

"Many of our members feel undervalued and have had enough. They are already struggling with the rising cost of living and feel they’ve had no other choice but to make a stand in order for the Government to wake up and listen.”

Health secretary Humza Yousaf said: “I’m disappointed to hear that the Royal College of Midwives is set to ballot midwives on industrial action.

“We are engaged with health unions and I hope we can come to an agreement in the near future.

“This work continues in the context of uncertainty around our budget, pending any fiscal updates from the new prime minister and chancellor, on which we need urgent clarity.”