Newly elected Chair of Council Dave Dawes addressed RCN members on Friday (4 September), sharing his priorities for the role and decisions from the Council meeting earlier that day.
Addressing members directly via Facebook Live, Dave said: “Council is trusting you, the members, to help shape and guide. The only way through this is trust, openness and honesty. If we rebuild that, then we can do this. I trust you, the members, and will do everything in my power to give you the honesty, the openness, the transparency you need to help us decide what directions we take.”
He confirmed that Council had agreed:
- to call a general meeting as soon as possible and that discussions will happen with the extraordinary general meeting (EGM) petitioners to determine if a general meeting is necessary and if so, to shape the agenda
- to allow the Deputy President election and other elections (including board elections) to progress but that the RCN will issue more detailed clarification on social media and RCN resources
- that in the light of no candidates remaining, the Governance Committee should look at options for the presidential election and that these would come back to Council with written legal advice. All candidates would be able to stand in a future presidential election and that any disqualifications will not carry forward
- to commission an independent review into the presidential election process, but Council needs to consider the right approach and format and timing
- to an independent review of the actions taken against candidates in the presidential elections. Council wants to make it clear that under the RCN’s rules and processes, it is within the remit of the returning officer, who takes advice from the independent scrutineer, to make judgements about breaches of the election rules. The judgement was made by the returning officer within their remit and as per process and neither Council nor the executive team have seen the evidence.
Finally, Dave reiterated RCN Council’s commitment to fight for fair pay and safe staffing: “Everyone is fighting hard to make sure you get the pay you deserve, and the pay that we need to fill the thousands of vacancies and deliver safe, effective care.”