By Rebecca Anderson
THE leadership of the Royal College of Nurses (RCN) is trying to fight back from members’ attempts to oust it, after it misled them over the pay deal which means nurses received on average less than half the three percent promised and voted on. A petition has already forced RCN GS Janet Davies to resign and, at an emergency meeting on 28 September, 78 percent voted for a motion of no confidence in the leadership, calling for it to step down and forcing new elections.
Now, the leadership is claiming that a “political”, that is, pro-Labour, faction is trying to “infiltrate”, a first helping of the demagogy the old leadership will use to try to get back into the driver’s seat. The rank and file need to organise themselves to democratically decide a set of fighting policies to fight for a real pay rise, debate the union’s traditional “professional” non-union and non-political stance, affiliate to Labour and elect candidates pledged to fight for those policies and to be accountable, including taking no more than a skilled nurse’s wage and agreeing to being open to recall.