The Royal School of Nursing (RCN) calling the police to research members’ petition for a vote of no confidence in opposition to the management marks a turning level within the year-long battle of nurses. Nurses preventing to reject the union’s treacherous wage take care of the Tory authorities are being bullied, censored and criminalised.
How did it occur? And the way can nurses and allied well being staff defeat the efforts of the RCN and different well being union bureaucrats to derail and defeat their decided battle?
After the RCN introduced its awful pay take care of Well being Secretary Steve Barclay, opposition from nurses erupted on social media. RCN bureaucrats have agreed to a paltry 4% one-off fee and 5% consolidated pay for 2023-24 which leaves most nurses round £4,400 in actual circumstances worse off than in 2008 and is lower than half the speed inflation fee of 13.8% for February.
The deal was a kick within the tooth for nurses who’ve suffered 12 years of fixed pay cuts which have resulted in an exodus from the career. Hospitals are dangerously understaffed, whereas many overworked nurses depend on meals banks to feed their households and battle to fulfill fundamental bills, together with gas, to get to work.
The ‘NHS Staff Say NO’ group has gained important assist for its marketing campaign for a no vote within the RCN poll which closes on 14 April. He has greater than 90,000 Fb members and practically 30,000 Twitter followers and has disputed RCN Secretary-Normal Pat Cullen’s claims that the wage deal is a win, campaigning in WhatsApp teams and on-line conferences.
Quickly after the pay deal was introduced on 16 March, a web-based petition was launched calling for a rare basic assembly of the RCN on 13 Might to deliver a vote of no confidence to Cullen and his government crew. He additionally referred to as for a vote of no confidence within the NEC Council members who authorized the deal and within the RCN’s negotiating committee. He rapidly collected 1,000 signatures, simply assembly the brink required by RCN Standing Orders for an EGM.
Inside hours of submitting their petition on 23 March, its authors, reportedly together with former senior union members, got here underneath a rare assault from the RCN management. The RCN mentioned Nursing notes“We’ve cause to imagine that tons of of names have been fraudulently added to the petition,” together with the title of a deceased particular person.
RCN officers mentioned the petition was a “grotesque act” and “in opposition to the spirit and function of the EGM mechanism,” with out offering a shred of proof for its strident claims.
The petition was taken offline, with an nameless RCN spokesperson saying: “That is now a considerably discredited and underhanded petition and has been invalidated. Consequently, we’ll go no additional.”
The RCN mentioned Nursing notes the petitioners could be prosecuted, with the union pitting the police and different state authorities in opposition to its becoming a member of: “We’ll take authorized recommendation, contain the police, the regulator and perform a forensic examination.”
RCN’s dictatorial actions included a cleanup of the union’s social media accounts, with feedback important of the deal bureaucratically deleted. On Monday, the RCN confirmed al Keeper which had reported publishers of hostile feedback (labelled “bullying” and “harassment”) to social media platforms, allegedly to have their accounts eliminated, and to the Nursing Regulator, which has the ability to deprive nurses of their license to apply.
RCN administration has introduced that any future petitions for a vote of no confidence, similar to these already re-launched by the RCN EGM Meeting Organizing Committee, are robotically null and void, “Makes an attempt to re-launch petition with a good better mantle of anonymity may even be thought-about invalid.
These are the actions of an industrial police power in opposition to the working class. The authors of the rebooted petition point out that there’s a state of siege in opposition to members: “As a result of alleged assault on the organizers of the EGM by the chief group and the final secretary, we stay nameless till the day of the EGM itself to guard committee members from intimidation or threats”.
The goal of the RCN’s measures aren’t simply those that began the petition and campaigned for a no vote, however the many 1000’s of allied nurses and well being staff who oppose the undoing of commercial motion by the RCN. ‘RCN and accepting a rotten pact with the federal government.
A fast survey of Nursing notes discovered solely 33% of members would settle for the pay deal, with casual social media polls displaying overwhelming opposition from nurses.
The ruthless measures employed by Cullen and the RCN government to power the sure vote and intimidate and suppress the opposition present that the prerequisite for profitable a better than inflation wage premium is a grassroots rise up by nurses in opposition to a paperwork irresponsible man working hand-in-glove with the Tory authorities and the state.
In its assertion calling for a vote to reject the RCN deal, the group ‘NHS Staff Say No’ wrote: ‘Make no mistake, it was strike motion that introduced the unions into the room with the federal government, and It’s strike motion that may ship the restoration of full pay.
Certainly, the RCN management has responded to the nurses’ motion by working extra intently with the Conservatives. The union “within the corridor” conspired with the federal government in opposition to the strikers. A privileged equipment resting on the suppression of sophistication battle, the RCN bureaucrats have now responded to rising grassroots strain with state repression and an assault on the fundamental democratic rights of members.
On seventeenth March, NHS Fightback issued a name to our fellow staff to arrange and defeat the Tory commerce union sell-off deal. We mentioned: “Union leaders, their nationwide leaders and negotiating committees are engaged in sabotage. They need to be faraway from their positions instantly. Emergency department conferences ought to cross no-confidence votes in these traitors and underdogs.”
Because the assertion defined, “This have to be the start and never the top of a battle to switch energy from the fingers of the union paperwork to the grassroots…
“It’s not sufficient to kick out the outdated leaders. One thing new needs to be constructed. Victory relies on the formation of staff’ consultant organizations, grassroots committees, unbiased of union constructions and free from strain from its personnel. These could be run by essentially the most trusted staff, elected by the folks and dedicated to preventing in opposition to sell-offs and for the employees’ elementary pursuits.”
A marketing campaign linking well being staff with these of the Royal Mail, the railways, universities, schools and faculties and the hundreds of thousands of protesters and strikers in France and throughout Europe, supplies the premise for a strong counter-offensive in opposition to the efforts of labor and commerce union bureaucrats to divide and suppress staff’ struggles in protection of the monetary oligarchy and the capitalist state. We urge nurses and healthcare professionals to contact NHS Fightback to take this battle ahead at this time.