Nursing activists have achieved an outstanding result in a crucial vote in the Royal College of Nurses (RCN), with 78% of those who voted expressing no confidence in the leadership of their union, which has had a long reputation for being right-leaning and Establishment-friendly:
The result was announced on Facebook by a well-known nursing campaigner in a post on the ‘#NursesRoar’ page:
The vote centred around nurses’ dissatisfaction with what they felt was the RCN leadership’s misleading communications about a pay deal that most nurses voted to accept earlier this year, but which gave many a far lower increase than they felt led to expect.
The simple motion reads:
We have no confidence in the current leadership of the RCN, and call on council to stand down.
The result is hugely significant for nurses in their fight for respect and decent treatment by a Tory government that has cut their real-terms pay and treated them and their NHS colleagues – and the whole public sector – with manifest disrespect.
But it’s also a beacon for members of unions with right-leaning leadership – and for Labour members who want to harness the power and influence of those unions fully in support of Labour’s radical programme to transform society – an example of what can be achieved if members organise and are motivated to drive change in their organisation.
Labour’s annual conference, which finished on Wednesday, has taken the party huge strides forward in its democracy and its readiness to be a government of and for the people. There’s more to be done, but nurses who campaigned, planned and organised to achieve this stellar result are an inspiration.
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