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Physiotherapists Campaign to Protect Pensions

15 February 2005 - 8:10am

CSP press release on why physiotherapists and assistants are supporting the campaign to protect public sector pensions...

The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) is urging its 45,000 members to campaign against changes the Government is planning to make to their pensions (1).

The Society is encouraging physiotherapists and assistants to voice their concerns by writing to their local MP. CSP action will coincide with the TUC's public sector pensions campaign day on Friday, 18 February (2).

The CSP is opposed to the compulsory raising of the normal pension age from 60 to 65 years (3).

Sarah Lawrence, an NHS physiotherapist and Chair of the CSP's Industrial Relations Committee, explains why physiotherapists should back the Society's campaign.

'Physiotherapy is a physically demanding, 'hands-on' profession. Physiotherapists frequently work in awkward positions with patients who can be heavy and difficult to assist. The potential for work-related injury is significant.

'After a lifetime of working in the NHS, many physiotherapists simply won't be able to carry on working until they are 65, and it is not reasonable to expect them to do so. Opportunities to move from clinical to managerial work are limited and not suitable for all staff.'

'Forcing NHS staff to work to 65 to receive their full pension will deter talented people from joining the NHS and that can only jeopardise the future of the service and the public's health.'

ENDS

Notes to editors

1. A review of the NHS Pension Scheme is currently underway. Under the government's proposals, NHS staff face a compulsory increase in their normal pension age (NPA) from 60 to 65 years. Another controversial element of the review is the possibility that the NHS pension scheme will be based on career average earnings (CARE) rather than final salary, as is the case at present. Switching to a CARE scheme could mean a cut in pay for many NHS staff as pensions represent future income.
2.Friday 18 February has been designated a nation-wide day of campaigning on public sector pensions by the TUC. The day provides an opportunity for workers across the public sector to voice their concerns at the proposed changes the government is planning to make to their pensions.
3. The preferred position of the CSP is to retain NPA arrangements but work jointly with NHS employers to encourage and facilitate staff to work on longer on a voluntary basis, where they feel able to do so

Most physiotherapists currently working for the NHS have reserved rights to retire at age 55 with no loss of pension rights. The increase in NPA will have a disproportionate impact on physiotherapists, as well as other health workers in the same position such as doctors, nurses, midwives etc, who started work with the NHS before 1995. 

For further information contact the CSP press office on 0207 306 6616/6628/6163.
The CSP is the professional, educational and trade union body for the country's 45, 000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants. For previous releases, visit: www.csp.org.uk/mediagovernment/mediareleases

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