EGM: RCN members’ views ahead of the vote

Nursing Standard speaks to members attending the meeting in Birmingham

Nursing Standard speaks to members attending the meeting in Birmingham

RCN members are meeting in Birmingham to vote on a motion of no confidence in the college’s council.

The extraordinary general meeting (EGM) was called in response to a petition signed by more than 1,000 members, amid controversy over the college's communication of the NHS pay deal in England.

Nursing Standard spoke to members attending the EGM, who explained why they had made the journey to Birmingham to have their say.

Watch: Former RCN director for England Tom Bolger at the EGM 

Evan Kier. Picture: Neil O’Connor

Important to be properly informed

Dumfries and Galloway branch healthcare assistant member Evan Keir, pictured left, said: ‘As a Scottish member it didn’t directly affect me, but it’s important the wider membership hold the RCN to account as a member organisation.

‘I am a safety rep and activist, and felt it was important when I pass on information to members that I was there in attendance so I can keep them informed properly.

‘There has been a loss of faith in the communication that has been put out, so I’m here for direct observation.’

More member-focused

John Kelsell. Picture: Neil O’Connor

Stafford branch retired member John Kelsell, pictured right, said: ‘I want to see what the real issue is and see what people are really thinking before I make a vote.

‘Most of what we have seen has been on social media. Social media is good in one way, but we have to go carefully. Some of the stuff on social media has not been professional.

‘The critique I would have is on the confirmation of not everyone getting 3%; that is when the negotiators should have gone back and had another go with the government.

‘We can’t fault the trade union council or RCN council for the decision they made when they made it. But we do need more membership focus; it has become too corporate.’

Gloria Elam. Picture: Neil O’Connor

Considering both sides

RCN South East branch member Gloria Elam, pictured left, said: ‘I’m here because it is about time I got invested in what is going on.

‘I am not happy with what happened earlier this year, with the pay negotiations – it was a total mess-up. There was too much misinformation.

‘I have my view but I want to hear both sides properly before I vote because that is only fair.’

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