The following message has been shared via email with all members today from RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair:
“I recognise that for many of you the events of the past few weeks will have been confusing and, in some cases, concerning. It is hard to see the RCN embroiled in conflict at a time when our profession has never been more in the public eye.
“My commitment to you all, and to the nursing profession, is unwavering. I am determined that we see this through and strengthen our organisation.
“I want to provide clarity on where we are now with the presidential elections and the Chair and Vice Chair of Council elections.
“Many of you may have heard that complaints have been made against the remaining candidates in the presidential elections. These have been investigated and subsequently not upheld by the Returning Officer as breaches of election process.
“However, the remaining two candidates have now chosen to withdraw from the election. This means we will now run a new presidential election, starting afresh.
“Council will also separately elect a new chair and vice chair, before agreeing a timeline for the elections of your president. They will also consider the implications on the existing deputy president election. I will work with the newly elected chair to ensure the process is taken forward as swiftly and smoothly as possible.
“As your Chief Executive & General Secretary, I am open and resolute in my dedication to the RCN being a member-led professional organisation. I have felt the passion and dedication of members, taking part in online engagement sessions and hearing directly from members.
“I have received a submission of a petition for an extraordinary general meeting, and I fundamentally support our members’ right to be heard. Everyone in our profession is not just welcome, but truly needed, to make us the powerful voice of nursing. That petition will now be verified.
“A College as large as ours takes strength from its diversity of views and expertise. All our members deserve a respectful and collegiate debate about the future. I believe we must open-up the dialogue even further, to hear from the widest possible range of voices.
“It is a privilege to be your Chief Executive & General Secretary. I am proud to represent you throughout this COVID-19 pandemic. And I am proud to fight alongside you as we seek to secure fair pay for nursing, and staffing for safe and effective care.”