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CSP joins Westminster lobby of MPs calling for Fair Pay in the NHS

CSP members joined a TUC-coordinated lobby of MPs in parliament on Tuesday 1 July to call for fair pay for NHS staff.

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From left: CSP members Visha Phullah, Carol Cockcroft, Corinna Bunn and Angie Emmott outside parliament ahead of the lobby of MPs over NHS pay on Tuesday 1 July

MPs from all parties heard directly from physiotherapy staff, midwives, nurses and a range of other NHS workers about how real terms pay cuts of 8-12% since 2010 were hitting moral, motivation and would ultimately hurt patients.

The lobby sought MPs' support in urging secretary of state Jeremy Hunt to rethink his decision to reject the independent pay review body's recommendation for a 1% across-the-board rise. The government previously indicated it would honour this annual uplift for all staff.

The lobbying activity followed campaigning over pay in workplaces across England last month and local activity during Fair Pay Fortnight (24 March to 6 April). It comes ahead of further lobbying of MPs in constituencies in England on Friday 4 July.

Visha Phullah

Visha Phullah was among four CSP members and stewards who attended the lobby.

A physiotherapist at North East London NHS Foundation Trust where she is also vice chair of the local union 'staff side', Visha said:

'This lobby was a good idea. We need to push our views on NHS pay - if we don't do, who will?

'The government is setting a very dangerous precedent by disregarding the pay review body. It hasn't lived up to its promises. We are willing to negotiate but the government doesn't appear to even want to come to the table.

'I came to parliament to get MPs attention.'

Carol Cockcroft

Carol Cockcroft, from Thurrock Community Hospital, North East London NHS Foundation Trust, said:

'Even though I didn't see my own MP I did speak to two other MPs and have given them my feedback from the frontline of NHS services.

'We need to tell MPs how we feel, how the independent pay review body is being ignored and the impact on services.

'MPs are real people and influenced by what they hear. If you don't say it, they won't hear it.'

Corinna Bunn

Corinna Bunn, clinical specialist physiotherapist, Women's Health at Lincoln County Hospital, part of United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS trust said:

'It was great to have the opportunity to tell MPs about how I feel as a physiotherapist and NHS worker about NHS pay.

'You can't maintain a quality workforce that is essential for delivering the world's best healthcare system without investing in it.'

Angie Emmott

Angie Emmott, CSP steward and physiotherapist in orthopaedics and surgery at Newark Hospital, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added:

'I encourage all NHS members in England to try and see their MP this July 4 or otherwise write to them to let them know how we feel.

'Physiotherapy and other NHS staff do a great job under really difficult conditions.

'We deserve fair pay.'

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham told health workers at a meeting held at the close of lobbying activities that they were paying the price of the coalition government's £3 billion reorganisation of the NHS brought in under the 2012 Health Act and reiterated his pledge that a future Labour government would repeal it.

To show its commitment it is this week also backing a private member’s Bill from Clive Efford, the Labour MP for Eltham, that aims to remove the compulsion for NHS commissioners to put services out to competitive tender under section 75 of the Act.

Mr Burnham said the opposition party supports the PRB process, adding: 'The best guarantee of good patient care is properly respected, appreciated and rewarded NHS staff.'

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3 July 2014
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