An extensive information release to NursingNotes by presently-suspended RCN Council Chair Dave Dawes alleges that prior to Dame Donna’s departure an independent investigation into her actions was commissioned by the College’s ruling Council.
The news comes following numerous and repeated commitments from the union for improved transparency and accountability to members.
Mr Dawes alleges that “On 18th June, the RCN General Secretary Dame Donna Kinnair was suspended by RCN Council members and an external investigation was commissioned”.
Following this, Mr Dawes explains that “RCN Council approved a settlement agreement” and subsequently a public statement explaining “that after a period of ill health Dame Donna Kinnair had taken a decision to step down as General Secretary.”
He went on to criticise the union’s actions highlighting; “At no stage were the suspension or either investigations communicated to the membership.”
Mr Dawes has consistently denied the claims made against him and says he was “pressured to resign as Chair of Council”.
He adds that his concerns about the union’s conduct and his treatment since his suspension have been sent to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Trade Union Certification Officer (TUCO).
It has been a very troubled year for the union which is likely to change the focus from and negatively affect the ongoing fair pay for nursing campaign.
A spokesperson for the RCN responded to Mr Dawes’s accusations; “It was the then-Chair of RCN Council – currently suspended – who led and took the decisions surrounding the departure of the former chief executive.
“New executive and member leadership have since taken office. Both are determined to address standards that fall short of members’ expectations.
“The RCN has also announced the appointment of Bruce Carr QC to examine the culture and management of the organisation.”