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Show you care – be there

Play your part in telling the government  that there is an alternative to MASS UNEMPLOYMENT.

Join the CSP at a TUC-organised march and rally on 20 October

Physio staff across the UK are being urged to put a big  red circle around the date of 20 October in their calendars and diaries.

That’s because the CSP is throwing its weight behind a march and anti-austerity rally being held by the TUC in London on that date, while a similar event is also being planned by the Scottish TUC.

Dr Helena Johnson, CSP Council chair, said: ‘The “A Future that Works” rally on 20 October is an opportunity for members to make a stand against the government’s austerity policies which are hurting the NHS and other vital public services.

CSP members care passionately about their patients and the quality of the physiotherapy services they provide.

‘We are concerned that financially-driven cuts to NHS physiotherapy services will hinder members’ ability to deliver high quality patient care and outcomes.’    

Other issues that have prompted the CSP to back the TUC action include pay freezes and pay caps, attacks on terms and conditions, the downbanding of posts and rising workloads.

‘The common driving force behind these and other woes hitting CSP members and their families is a huge squeeze on public spending,’ said Alex MacKenzie, who chairs the CSP industrial relations committee.

Earlier this year, the Institute for Fiscal Studies raised alarm bells over the government’s approach.

‘The sheer scale of the cuts is daunting, and almost without historical or international precedent,’ it concluded in its Green Budget. (www.ifs.org.uk/publications/6003)

Austerity isn’t working

It is widely held by many economists that austerity policies are destroying jobs, growth and incomes across the economy.

The UK is in a ‘double-dip’ recession. Some 2.6 million people are out of work. More than a million people with a part-time job want a full-time one.

Meanwhile, living standards have fallen for more than two years. A VAT rise has put up prices during the same period, tax credits have been cut and NHS wages have been held down.

If physio staff – in both the  NHS and private sector – and other workers have less to spend, then businesses won’t invest or take on staff.

Last year, slow growth cost the country an extra £34 billion in tax credits and social security costs, while more than £51 billion in income tax was lost.

CSP members are lining up to take part in the events on 20 October.

One of them is Ann Green, Dr Johnson’s predecessor as CSP Council chair. She told Frontline: ‘“A Future that Works” captures the hope of all – young, old, poor, employed, unemployed and sick.

‘We are all in this together and those of us who are stronger must take a stand for a fairer society that invests in the future.

Current policies are not working - come and join us and do your bit.’

Based in the West Country, Tim Rowland and Gemma Matthews face a round-trip of many hundreds of miles in order to make their voices heard at the rally.

The band 6 physios from Cornwall said: ‘We are going on the march as we are not prepared to accept this government’s sustained attack on public sector workers and the terms and conditions of our employment.

They added: ‘We’re particularly concerned as we work in the south west, where 20 trusts have set up a pay cartel to try to introduce regional pay by the back door.’

The TUC says urgent action is needed on tax avoidance by companies and individuals, which currently costs the economy at least £25 billion a year – 20 times more than is lost in benefit fraud. Investing more resources in HM Revenues and Customs could also lead to significant financial gains for the public purse.

It agrees that waste needs to be tackled: for example the £2 billion earmarked for an NHS re-organisation that no-one wants.

Growth and Jobs

The TUC, to which the CSP and other British trade unions are affiliated, argues for a new approach.

It points out that President Barack Obama has been stimulating the US economy by cutting taxes to put extra money in people’s wage packets each month and has also boosted public spending.

The result: US unemployment has gone down and across the Atlantic the deficit is now forecast to fall faster than here in the UK.

So an alternative would create jobs and encourage companies to raise average pay, but also stop big bonuses and allow the country to invest in training and new, including green, industries.

Banks and the rich should pay a fairer share of taxes, the TUC states.

To win the argument, people need to stand up, stand together, and let the government know that we want a new direction.

This is why the CSP is backing the events in London and Scotland in on 20 October. fl

CSP members in Scotland are welcome to join us in London.
But, recognising the cost and distance involved, the Scottish TUC is organising a separate event in Scotland on October 20. Details will be available on the CSP website in due course.  

For more information, including links to affordable transport options, visit: www.csp.org.uk/oct20 or see the advert on page 20

Help us plan for the event

Tell us you are coming (with name and contact number) by emailing: oct20@csp.org.uk

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