What has the RCN done for you lately?
This month I will explore two sides of the coin and how perceptions really do matter. There is a perception sometimes that while the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is both a professional college and a trade union, it operates more as a trade union. What do you think and how do you see the dual arms of the RCN – the professional and the union side – working together? Personally, I think it appears to be the latter, and to be fair, with the recent and disturbing Carr review (RCN, 2022a) and the emphasis on the dysfunctional RCN Council, members could think that is the case.
Many general practice nurses (GPNs) have expressed a wish to vote in the pay industrial action ballot. GPNs are not included in the statutory ballot as they are not directly employed by an NHS organisation, as identified in the NHS Terms and Conditions handbook, and this dispute is in relation to the pay, terms and conditions of RCN members directly employed by NHS Employers. Are we disappointed that the RCN is unable to obtain our vote in the ballot for strike action? Are we surprised that GPNs in primary care have not got a voice? Personally, I am not. Although, it should be noted that the RCN does campaign for fair pay in non-NHS settings (RCN, 2022b).
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