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Communications on pay deal were ‘not up to the standard’, admits RCN leader


The Royal College of Nursing has admitted that its communications surrounding the pay deal “fell short of the standards members expect”.

As a result of the current debacle facing the college over the deal, it pledged this evening to make “lasting changes” to build a closer connection with members.

“We will be announcing some substantive and lasting changes”

Donna Kinnair

It would be announcing “some substantive and lasting changes to better connect the college with its members” over the next few weeks, said the RCN.

The promise came in a letter sent to members today at 5pm by Dame Donna Kinnair, the RCN’s acting chief executive and general secretary.

Earlier in August, Janet Davies announced that she was stepping down from the role at the end of the month over the issue, having previously made a public apology.

Meanwhile, an external review is underway into the “governance and process” surrounding the RCN’s “understanding and communication” of the 2018 pay deal for England.

In addition, an extraordinary general meeting has also been called over its communications around the NHS pay deal, which will take place in Birmingham next month.

The plans for the emergency meeting follow a petition set up in July by RCN activists that was signed by over 1,000 members – the number required to force the holding of an EGM.

It called on college leaders to stand down and followed widespread anger and dismay after many nurses discovered they would be getting much less in their wage packets than expected.

All members were told they would get a 3% per pay rise backdated this summer but it subsequently turned out this was not the case with only half getting the rise straight away.

The rest will receive an average increase of around 1.5% with more to come on their incremental date – which could be as many as 11 months down the line.

In today’s letter, Dame Donna said the college would be publishing the findings from the review “in full” ahead of the meeting, as well as committing to implement its recommendations.

She said: “Whatever the conclusions of the review, we already know that the RCN’s processes around the pay deal and its communication were not up to the standards that you the membership should expect.”

“The review period has also allowed us to take a broader look at the college’s structures and activities,” noted Dame Donna.

“Whilst I know there are many things that the college does well, I think there is much that could be improved – in particular around engaging with and listening to our members,” she said.

“In the next few weeks we will be announcing some substantive and lasting changes to better connect the college with its members,” she added.

“We are here to serve you – and in order to do that to our best ability, I think we need to listen better than we have been,” she said. “This change begins now, and I assure you we are listening.”


Readers' comments (4)

  • The RCN is the most effete organisation in health care. It is far more concerned with it's own status than it's member's interests. It grossly over estimates it's own importance and effectiveness. It's days as a union will be numbered it if doesn't shift it's focus back to it's members.

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  • The communications were not the only thing not up to standard. The leadership were not, the negotiating team were not, and hence the whole deal was not.

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  • Change all the processes you want, it won't change the fact the union mislead it's members.
    After all the work and effort put into 'scrap the cap' campaign to then put a negotiating team forward with NO b***s to get the job done right.

    A gesture from the union like returning union fees for the last 6 months should be pushed for .

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  • Give us our fees back for 6 months.

    Good idea would show real feeling towards membership.

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