Team working makes a real difference

CSP organiser Kevin Dale is spreading the word about what you can achieve by working together – but he needs help!

by Kevin Dale

Team working is a critical part of the job in physiotherapy, whatever setting you work in and whatever role you have. Physio staff work together with other physio colleagues, allied health professionals and health and social care staff, day in day out. Collaboration and co-operation helps us to share work and responsibility, harness our individual contribution, skills and experience, and is essential to delivering quality and safe patient services.

Team working is also an effective way to tackle employment issues in workplaces. That's the message Siân Caulfield and I, as CSP union organisers, will be taking to members over the coming months. Workers binding together to tackle common concerns is not a new idea. It has been central to the trade union movement since its foundation 150 years ago, to protect and improve working conditions and strengthen the voice of workers.

Our local stewards and safety reps are essential members of the CSP team in the workplace. They support members on individual casework - for example supporting members on a disciplinary matter, or advising them on a flexible working application – and collective issues – such as securing a more supportive sickness absence policy, a healthier work environment, or alleviating workload pressures.

However, to be most effective locally we need to build a wider CSP team in the workplace. The trend towards more fragmented workplaces, due to outsourcing and the shift in care into the community, and the sheer scale and pace of change in the NHS, means sharing the load and responsibilities of local union work among members is even more important.

We have introduced a new, voluntary role we call ‘workplace contact’ to help members get involved with the CSP’s union activities at local level. This role involves being the point of contact for organisers, promoting campaigns and the CSP in your workplace. The tasks could be as simple as forwarding an email or placing some leaflets in your hospital common room. You might be asked to help your local stewards or safety rep organise a meeting. We are also seeking to recruit workplace contacts where there are no workplace reps currently, as a way to start building that local CSP team.

If you are interested in becoming a workplace contact then it’s a simple as emailing us at Anyone can self-nominate. If you think you could help strengthen our team in the workplace we would love to hear from you. We hope many of you will consider being part of the strong CSP team, as a steward, safety rep and now as a workplace contact.

Kevin Dale

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