Our last newsletter was issued at a time where COVID-19 dominated our world. Many of you were faced with the most challenging circumstances you have ever worked in. Briefly, for just a few weeks, we felt like life might be returning to some semblance of normality but now the threat looms large once more, with an uncertain winter being our only certainty. One thing we can be sure of though is that we will continue to support you through whatever there is still to come.
I appreciate that many of you will be unsettled about the events of the past few weeks around the presidential elections and whilst the RCN is starting afresh with a new election, a general meeting and independent review will hopefully go some way to address your concerns. I do have some welcome news though and would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Dave Dawes, who has been elected as our new Chair of RCN Council. Dave has stepped down as Chair of the Regional Board with immediate effect and I would like to take the opportunity to thank him on behalf of the region for his hard work.
The RCN’s campaigns for safe staffing for safe and effective care and pay have resumed with the launch of the pay campaign. The Fair Pay for Nursing campaign demands a 12.5% pay award for nursing staff across the UK. Throughout the pandemic, the country has witnessed the most impressive demonstration of nursing, seeing it as a highly skilled and compassionate profession deserving of fair pay. But the Fair Pay For Nursing campaign is about more than our response to COVID-19. It is about recognising the skill, experience, responsibility and commitment, demonstrated every day, in every year, by nursing support workers, students, nursing associates, registered nurses and all members of the profession. Our nurse leaders have risen to the challenge faced in their organisations and collaborated across systems to support staff and services users. How the UK governments respond to this demand will indicate how they value the nursing community across the NHS and independent sector by paying them a well-deserved increase.
Your stories are what will make our #FairPayForNursing campaign stand out and help us to secure fair pay and the recognition. Add your voice to the campaign and tell politicians why nursing staff deserve to be valued.
We have started a series on fortnightly Q&As to enable you to ask any questions you have around your pay, how the campaign relates to you, the staffing for safe and effective are campaign or any questions relating to nursing, how the RCN is supporting members as well as any questions and matters you feel need addressing by the RCN. The sessions will be attended by myself as well as members of the NW Board and some of our regional committee members with Mike Adams, England Director, joining us for the first one last Friday. For further details about all the sessions, please visit the events section of the RCN North West website.
Whilst our events for 2020 are now all virtual, we have planned a variety of events for the rest of the year including the branch AGMs where you can help to shape your local branch activities for the year ahead. These are taking place via Microsoft Teams and you should have received an email invitation. There is also information on the regional webpage. You can also become more involved with your branch by standing for election to the committee. Please email Regional Administrator Carole Glaister for further information on firstname.lastname@example.org
We also have had student recruitment throughout September, where the pandemic forced us to explore different ways of communicating with our local universities and new students. The region's Black History Month celebration is on the 15 October, and this year focuses on‘Power, Voice and Influence’. It aims to celebrate, empower and embrace the talents of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic workforce in health and social care across the North West via a virtual day of engaging activities. The region will also be presenting a series of awards to those who have made an outstanding contribution to the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda and the experience of BAME service users and/or staff in their place of work.
All that is left for me to say is thank you all for what you continue to do every day for those you care for. It is important that you do not neglect your own health and well-being. Look after yourselves and those close to you. Keep safe, keep well, keep positive.