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The Royal College of Nursing has found itself the subject of further unwanted attention surrounding its now paused presidential election.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that a request has been made for a vote of no confidence in the Royal College of Nursing’s council chair, Dee Sissons.
The RCN itself has so far declined to officially comment, despite requests from Nursing Times to confirm or deny the growing rumours about the vote.
The new claims come after it was announced last week that the union’s presidential campaigns had been paused and two candidates had been disqualified, following election rule breaches.
News of the complaints, which was first shared on social media site Twitter, has since been met with concerns over a lack of transparency on how these decisions had been made.
Nursing Times understands that an emergency council meeting is due to be held this evening to discuss the concerns of RCN members surrounding the issue.
But, ahead of the meeting, further claims emerged this afternoon that the RCN’s council was preparing to hold a vote of no confidence in the near future over alleged election mishandling.
According to an article on the NursingNotes website, a letter has been sent to the union’s senior executive team and council “calling for a vote of no confidence in the council’s chair”.
However, Nursing Times understands that the confidence vote is not expected to take place at the meeting tonight.
It comes less than two years after RCN members passed a vote of no confidence in the union’s council following backlash over the way the 2018 NHS pay deal was communicated to members.
A significant 78% of RCN members who took part in the ballot voted in favour of the no confidence motion. The results were revealed at an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held in Birmingham in September 2018.
The EGM was called following a petition by more than 1,000 RCN members to discuss the college’s communications and processes surrounding the pay deal, which the majority voted to accept.
Some members said they felt “misled” after many received much less in their pay packets than they were expecting.
Nursing Times contacted the RCN for a response and for more details on the current situation. However, it has so far declined to comment.