Midwives Association of British Columbia
Ratifies Tentative Three-year Agreement

BC Government: Press Release Announcing Midwifery Service Agreement 2022-2025

VICTORIA, BC, August 11, 2023

Midwives will be better supported as a new three-year agreement has been ratified between the Province and the Midwives Association of British Columbia (MABC) that will increase wages, benefits and provide more supports for Indigenous midwifery.

The agreement is effective retroactively from April 2022 until March 2025.

“Midwives play an essential role in our health-care system, and reaching an agreement means midwives can continue focusing on the needs of their patients,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “The agreement offers long-term supports to midwives and will be transformative in helping grow the profession so more pregnant women and families in B.C. can benefit from their services. I look forward to our continued work with the Midwives Association of British Columbia.”

On July 31, 2023, 89% of eligible members voted, with 99% of the votes being in favour of the agreement. The agreement is aimed at stabilizing and promoting maternity and midwifery services in B.C.

Key components include fee-for-service increases in alignment with the Shared Recovery Mandate:

  • April 1, 2022: fee increases of 3.24%;
  • April 1, 2023: 6.75% fee increase (includes 1.25% cost-of-living adjustment increase) – maximum 6.75% triggered as of March 31, 2023; and
  • April 1, 2024: 2% fee increase, plus potentially up to 1% cost-of-living adjustment increase.

“With this agreement, we are reaffirming our commitment to supporting the health and well-being of families in rural, remote and First Nations communities, and we are ensuring that expectant families receive the highest quality of health care,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Health. “The funding we're providing to support Indigenous midwifery will help advance reclamation and decolonization of birth and maternity practices and help bring birthing back home for Indigenous Peoples.”

As part of the agreement, the Ministry of Health will also provide $2.5 million in ongoing, renewable funding through the newly established Indigenous Maternity Planning Committee. The funding and committee will operate on four guiding principles:

  • supporting and advancing reclamation and decolonization of birth and maternity practices and bringing birth back home;
  • supporting and advancing Indigenous birth and maternity practices;
  • supporting the Indigenous Maternity Planning Committee in establishing a long-term plan for Indigenous midwifery and traditional maternity care providers in B.C.; and
  • developing programs, services, initiatives and policies that are informed and driven by the community and Nation level. Work should be anchored in the community-driven, Nation-based principle, as outlined in the First Nations Health Authority’s seven directives.

Other highlights include developing the first-ever comprehensive health benefits package for midwives in B.C., parental leave increase, and RRSP contribution improvements for eligible registered midwives, funding for overhead costs, and increased compensation for midwives performing home births.

“This partnership with the Ministry of Health shows a strong commitment that puts midwives in a position where they can focus on enhancing and stabilizing primary maternity care, in a province that has the highest rate of midwifery-involved births in the country,” said Lehe Spiegelman, co-chair, MABC.

Lisa Delorme, co-chair, MABC said: “In addition to the precedent-setting agreement, there is a clear path for sustaining, expanding and growing midwifery services through the establishment of working groups and committees that address current limitations on scope of practice, flexible payment models and removing gaps and barriers to the integration of midwifery services with health authorities and communities across B.C.”

This announcement builds on B.C.’s Health Human Resources Strategy, which fosters workforce satisfaction and innovation to ensure health services are accessible to everybody in B.C. Within this strategy, the Province expanded seats at the University of British Columbia’s midwifery program by more than 70%, bringing the total annual intake to 48. This includes 12 new seats in the bachelor of midwifery program, bringing the total annual intake to 32.

The strategy advances 70 actions to retain, recruit and train health-care workers in B.C., while supporting innovative health system redesign and optimization.

Learn More:

To learn about the MABC, visit: https://www.bcmidwives.com/

To learn about B.C.’s Health Human Resource Strategy, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2022HLTH0059-001464



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