Nominations for CSP Council member elections close on 16 May 2022
Your council needs you…
All CSP members can stand for election and we hope you will consider nominating yourself to help shape the future of your profession. You can find out more and nominate yourself on the CSP website.
The CSP and your profession need you to post your vote!
The internet is over 30 years old. Personal computers have been around for nearly 50 years. Most of us do our shopping, banking and pay bills online. However, the law governing trade union voting remains firmly stuck in the pre-digital era.
Although online democracy has spread rapidly through other spheres of public life and with the coronavirus pandemic leading to a rapid growth in online democratic processes, such as the move to virtual company meetings, unions are still required to conduct key votes – elections and industrial action ballots – through postal vote alone.
Independent election service providers believe that electronic voting is just as safe as postal balloting. It is used by a number of employers and organisations, including political parties – it was used by the Conservative Party to select their party candidate for mayor of London. However unions must send a postal ballot to every member at their home address, and members can only vote by completing their ballot and posting it back.
The process is expensive, time consuming and limits member participation. We understand the frustration with the process and continue to lobby the government where possible but in the meantime we have to comply and provide access to all our members to vote.
The CSP represents over 60,000 chartered physiotherapists, students and support workers and has worked hard to protect and advance the profession since achieving our Royal Charter over 100 years ago. In recognising all our past and present colleagues we are asking you to return your postal vote in your council elections to ensure your voice is heard.
How to cast your vote
From 6 June you will receive a council elections pack; this will include a booklet containing the names of all the candidates and their election address statement as to why they have the attributes and abilities to work on behalf of the profession. You will also receive a ballot paper with instructions for voting and a pre-paid envelope for returning your postal vote. Please return your vote before the ballot closes on 27 June.
All member have a key role in voting….
The CSP’s council is no different from any other board.
Its main responsibilities include identifying and evaluating significant opportunities and risks, strategic decision-making and assessing the CSP’s performance – including financial performance. We need council members who are professional, responsible and collaborative – and who between them bring diversity of thought and perspective.
Diversity is important as it ensures council can:
- consider the same idea in differing ways and therefore avoid group-think.
- have healthy debate which includes embracing differing views and results in a more thoughtful decision-making process.
- be knowledgeable and sensitive to a wider variety of issues facing members.
- be willing and able to confront challenging issues and make difficult decisions.
- be willing and able to disrupt the status quo – as great ideas come from disruption.
- challenge itself to keep pace with the changing dynamics facing the profession and be more adaptable in response.
Council exists to serve the best interests of members, so it makes sense that its membership should reflect the full diversity of the CSP membership.
It is important that you vote for your preferred candidate and that you do so with diversity in mind. Are there already council members who are similar to you? If so, challenge yourself to vote for council members who are different.
In making your decisions, think about the members you vote for:
- are they likely to have diversity of thought from each other and from the existing council members?
- do they bring different perspectives and experiences and are they quick to learn?
- are they going to work collaboratively as a team, but also be able to challenge effectively?
- are they likely to disrupt the status quo?
Why CSP members need to vote by mail
In 2016 the government introduced the Trade Union Act. The CSP opposed this new law as unfair and unnecessary. The powers undermined constructive employment relations, and the civil liberties of working people in Britain. Among other measures, the legislation limited the facility time workplace reps required to properly represent union members.
However, the Act did contain a government commitment to review electronic voting in union elections.
The CSP and TUC have long supported proposals of this sort. Online voting would likely boost member participation in unions’ democratic processes. All the while being as safe and secure as electronic banking.
The subsequent, government-commissioned independent review recommended in 2017 that online ballots should be piloted for some union elections. However, there has been no further action from government.
This means that CSP and other unions remain legally required to use postal ballots for all our key elections. The current law specifically impacts trade unions. Other large membership bodies – such as the National Trust – are free to run their own democratic processes via online systems.
In addition to limiting member engagement, this increases our costs. The CSP continues through the TUC to lobby government for a change in the law.
- For more information, or to read the candidate’s addresses online, visit The Council Elections page.
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