CSP members at Aintree University Hospital together with SNO Karen O’Dowd
The TUC-led 'heartunions' week, now in its second year, aims to highlight the positive role of trade unions in delivering quality employment across the public and private sectors.
In England and Scotland physiotherapist students, staff and their CSP workplace reps came together to celebrate their Union, and to discuss the activity and impact of support and collective action taken by the CSP and its members on employment issues.
At two NHS trusts the theme of meetings with members and reps was the CSP workplace campaign Pinpoint the Pressure, which seeks to address stress in the workplace and excessive workloads.
At Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust three new reps and a more experienced steward met their CSP regional officer, Donna Steele, who provided them with guidance on why members should complete patient notes in normal working time. Ms Steele said: "It is a particularly stressful time for members. Imperial is on black alert, meaning no beds are available due to 100% full capacity. We had an interesting discussion about what is deemed reasonable with regards to working beyond contracted hours."
At Aintree University Hospital physiotherapy staff, stewards and safety reps shared ideas on how to progress the CSP workplace campaign locally with senior negotiating officer Karen O'Dowd who visited a number of sites.
Students love their union too
The work of the union formed part of a talk by Ms O'Dowd to third year and part time fourth year physio students at Salford University.
Students also reflected on this at the CSP student reps development weekend held days before the start of heartunions week, said Alex Zavellis-Roebuck, who represents students on the CSP industrial relations committee. Discussions led to them develop a number of messages including: 'Huge support to the union reps that work hard in the background.'
Members wore their union hearts on their sleeves at Watford General Hospital, where physiotherapy staff and reps met with CSP union organiser Kevin Dale and at NHS Grampian, where they were joined for a photo op by Alex MacKenzie, chair of the national group regional stewards.
Employers in Scotland demonstrated their support, taking time out to tweet a heartunions photo from a NHS social partnership meeting attended by CSP senior negotiating officer Claire Ronald.