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Physiotherapy staff turn out in their thousands for NHS strike action

30 November 2011 - 2:15pm

Thousands of CSP members working in the NHS have joined today’s day of action in support of their pensions.

Physios at the Royal London Hospital explain their opposition. Video: Kiran Acharya

Staff in England, Scotland and Wales joined picket lines to defend their current deal and to protest at government plans to raise their retirement age.

The industrial action is just the second in the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s 117-history and the first since 1980. It follows a ballot in which 86 per cent of members working in the NHS voted in favour of striking, on a turnout of 66 per cent.

A number of CSP members have featured in national and local media coverage of today’s strike action and many tweeted messages and photos to the CSP Twitter (@thecsp).

George Osborne’s autumn statement

The day of action follows Chancellor George Osborne’s autumn statement in which he said that public sector workers would receive a pay rise of just one per cent after the current pay freeze ends. The government plans to raise the state pension age to 68.

Members of the CSP argue they will be unable to keep working in such a physically demanding job until their late sixties, as the government has proposed.

They will also be forced to make higher contributions, which for most physiotherapists will run to more than £800 extra a year.

‘The government will see how serious physiotherapy staff are about defending their pensions,’ said Alex MacKenzie, chair of the CSP’s industrial relations committee. ‘We hope that this show of strength can finally bring about some serious negotiations.’

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