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Festive update

 Patricia Marquis 19 Dec 2017

Thank you all for your hard work this year. It really has been an outstanding year in terms of what we have achieved. We couldn’t have done this without the support of all of our wonderful active members on the ground. To each and every one of you: thank you.

Pay

I appreciate there may be a sense of “campaign fatigue” but next year, as we seek to “close the gap” we really will need your support more than ever. Although it might seem there is a lull in proceedings there is plenty you can do. Our work with MPs has been extremely successful. You can still lobby your MP to support a meaningful rise and most importantly one that isn’t linked to productivity. A new tool is available online:https://rcn.eaction.org.uk/lobby/nurseproductivity For everyone thinking: “Not another MP letter” we really have seen a turnaround in thinking and I am sure this is linked to the sustained pressure we have been putting on MPs, so don’t stop now. We also need members to continue to update their details and check that what we hold is correct. This is a two minute job online https://www.my.rcn.org.uk For those members that want to know why they didn’t receive an instant pay rise when the cap was scrapped please direct them to my blog: https://www.rcn.org.uk/news-and-events/blogs/pay-putting-you-in-the-picture

On Jersey and Guernsey our work has also revolved around pay, but in a different way. On Jersey we are finally seeing the results of several years’ work with a newly modernised workforce plan and on Guernsey we are preparing for a potentially long fight to secure members a meaningful pay rise and to also over haul their outdated terms and conditions framework. Again our activists on both islands have been outstanding and we really value their skills and knowledge.

As you know, a large part of our work this year has been around safe staffing. The media will always tend to focus on this season and winter pressures although, in reality, we know that the pressure are here year round. We know that you have been raising concerns – please continue to do this and encourage colleagues to do the same.

Branches

It was great to welcome so many of you to our Branch/Board Development days in November. Board collated its feedback to the board review and concluded that whilst there are still areas for improvement- particularly communication with branches the board was working well.

We held a successful round of branch AGMs this year with branches running some amazing events and have more branches active on Facebook and Twitter than ever. We have found this to be a fantastic way of engaging with our members, so if you would like you branch to have a Facebook page, please contact: helen.wigginton@rcn.or.uk
We were delighted to announce that the new Chair of Council will be Maria Trewern. Maria is from the Buckinghamshire Branch and has been active in the region for years. I’m sure Maria would be happy to visit your events so please do contact her if necessary: maria.trewern@rcn.org.uk

Janet Davies, Cecilia Anim and Rod Thompson also like to get out and about to meet members. Their diaries get full very quickly, but please do email: Danielle.boyle@rcn.org.uk or Natalie.brindle@rcn.org.uk to ask about diary availability in the first instance and keep us in the loop.

Congress and Networks

There is still time to get your Congress Agenda items submitted, Jan 2 is the cut-off date. It would be wonderful to see some of our branches on stage in Belfast: https://www.rcn.org.uk/congress/agenda/submit-an-agenda-item

Most branches have now had their voting members confirmed by the board and the board will be agreeing those funded by the board as first timers early in the New Year.  If your branch is wanting board funding to support attendance of others from your branch you need to include that in your branch plan as last year so the board can agree the branches budgets.

Registration for Congress is open and guidance for registration of voting members has/will be circulated to committees and voting members.  Booking travel and accommodation is quite different this year as you know- and more will follow in the early new year about this.

This year we have launched two new Networks in the South East, the Retired Members Network – contact Danielle.bird@rcn.org.uk for more info, and the South East Education Network – contact Rachel.wood@rcn.org.uk for more info.

I wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year. To the many of you that will be working, I hope it is quiet and for those of you who are taking time off – enjoy!

Patricia Marquis

Patricia Marquis

South East Regional Director

Patricia is a registered nurse and lifelong campaigner. She has worked at the RCN for 20 years.