News

RCN lead pay negotiator the latest senior figure to leave college after NHS pay deal row

Josie Irwin to take up a national role at Unison after a quarter of a century at the RCN

Josie Irwin to take up a national role at Unison after a quarter of a century at the RCN


Josie Irwin

The lead nurse negotiator of the NHS pay deal has resigned from the RCN after 26 years. 

Josie Irwin will leave the college in early November to join Unison as its national women's officer. 

Fallout from no-confidence vote

The announcement follows last month's no confidence vote in the RCN's leadership that forced most of the college's ruling council to stand down over the way the NHS pay deal in England had been miscommunicated to RCN members.

The RCN had promoted the pay deal as giving a 3% pay rise backdated to April for all eligible Agenda for Change staff. This later turned out to be incorrect, with some nurses only receiving a 1.5% increase in July.

The ensuing row resulted in sweeping changes at the highest levels of the college, with former general secretary Janet Davies and director of member relations Chris Cox stepping down.

'It has been a pleasure working with Josie and I would like to thank her for her service to the college'

Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN acting general secretary

Ms Irwin's role in the controversy was outlined in a Electoral Reform Service (ERS) report commissioned by the RCN. The report stated Ms Irwin was given scant time to present detailed pay tables to an RCN executive team meeting and attempts to question the figures were blocked by Ms Davies.

Conflict of interest

The ERS also found there was conflict of interest in Ms Irwin's role of presenting and aiding communication of the deal, having also negotiated it.

Acting general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair today thanked Ms Irwin for her dedication to the college.

'It has been a pleasure working with Josie and I would like to thank her for her service to the college,' she said.

Ms Irwin had previously caused controversy among some elements of the RCN membership, with statements that negotiators' hands were tied by nurses' unwillingness to strike, and that a 'male' style of negotiation would have failed to deliver a better deal.


Related material


In other news

This is a free article for registered users

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this? You can register for free access.

Jobs