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Debate: RCN boards, branches and member engagement

23 May 2019 14:00 - 15:30

Main Hall, ACC Liverpool , Kings Dock , Liverpool Waterfront , Liverpool , L3 4FP

Submitted by the RCN Greater Liverpool and Knowsley Branch

That this meeting of Congress urges RCN Council to review the functions and structures of RCN boards and branches to promote and encourage members to engage with the RCN.

This resolution was passed. 

The last branch review was carried out from 2005 to 2007. A new vision was agreed:

• Branches are the RCN’s local membership structure.
• Branch membership should be the basis of the RCN’s democratic structure.
• Branches are a way of engaging members locally, and organising RCN visibility to members and potential members in their workplaces by fostering activities in all workplaces within their geographical area.
• Branch activities should reflect those of a professional trade union, effectively integrating the professional association and trade union at local level.
• Branch activities should deliver on the RCN’s mission and strategic plan.

and a change programme to:

• clarify the role and purpose of branches
• focus the voluntary branch leadership on the
new vision
• focus the staff on supporting that vision
• review the branch boundaries; and
• clarify the board’s governance responsibilities in relation to branches.

Following on from that review and the legal and governance review in 2010 the role of the country and regional boards was reviewed. The key change was for the boards to become part of the governance structure of the RCN and the size and composition of the boards was reviewed to reflect their new decision making role.

The 2010 review was evaluated in 2017 and found that the changes were seen by board members as being largely positive. However, the member consultation found that branch officers were not aware of the changes made to the role of country and regional boards; did not have a positive working relationship with their local board; and saw boards as a barrier to their activities.

As a result, RCN Council agreed to set up a task and finish group to review the current UK branch network and how it interacts with boards to see if it is fit for purpose and served the needs of the College and the UK membership locally.

This is included in the 2019-2021 Group Strategy.

The brief for the review is:

• to identify what members wanted from the RCN in their local countries or regions through the collection and analysis of relevant intelligence
• to identify what was inhibiting or preventing the organisation meeting its members’ needs locally
• to make specific recommendations for action.

The review is to include consideration of the purpose of the branch; the existing structure and organisation; funding and support of branches and the branch experience; and how they work with their country or regional board.

The first phase of the work is an information gathering and analysis phase and is part of the membership engagement research.










Main Hall
ACC Liverpool
Kings Dock
Liverpool Waterfront
Liverpool
L3 4FP


Watch the debate again.


Page last updated - 21/10/2019