The CSP is offering an ambitious programme of digital events for Heart Unions 2021
This year the TUC’s Heart Unions Week runs from 8 to 14 February. The annual event is designed to strengthen trade unions by recognising the power of working people to effect lasting change.
Trade union membership booming
Since the pandemic hit in March 2020, trade union membership across the four nations of the UK has soared.
From March to December 2020, the CSP’s membership has risen by over 2,000 members to a record high of 60,778 members.
Unions representing other health staff, including the BMA and Unison, have seen substantial rises, as have some unions in other sectors, like education.
Why heart trade unions?
The pandemic has led to the deaths of many frontline workers across the world. It has and will continue to pose threats to workers’ health, jobs and livelihoods.
Health and safety
When the pandemic hit, governments had limited information on the virus and its likely impact. Through their networks of health and safety reps, trade unions are repositories of best practice on health and safety issues.
In many cases, trade union health and safety reps were called upon to advise governments and employers on risks and risk management. CSP safety reps remain a crucial point of contact for CSP members working and living through the pandemic.
The pandemic and the government’s responses to it posed the risk of mass redundancies. Following intensive negotiations with the TUC and unions, Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, a package of measures to support workers during the crisis. A Job Retention Scheme, which became known as furlough, provides 80% government wage support to employees who are temporarily laid off, avoiding mass redundancies. This was a major win for the trade union movement.
The pandemic and the four country governments’ responses to it has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities. The impact of the pandemic has been felt universally but not equally. Many of the very wealthiest have got richer and cushioned themselves from the impacts of lockdowns. Lower paid workers are less likely to be able to work from home. Covid-19 has more detrimental health impacts on Black and Minority Ethnic and Disabled workers. Trade unions came into being to redress inequality, especially in times of crisis. This is why equality and diversity are at the heart of our Heart Unions Week programme.
A union’s strength starts in the workplace. Without a strong, high profile presence of active members, unions cannot be effective at sectoral and national level. Heart Union Week gives us a platform to recruit new members among physiotherapy staff and supporter workers. There are many roles you can play from steward, safety rep, workplace contact or simply attending workplace meetings and putting your hand up to help from time to time.
Come to our Heart Union events and find out how you can get more active.
The CSP #heartcsp #heartunions
CSP webinar: Activating equalities in the workplace
‘The function of freedom is to free someone else’ – Toni Morrison Speakers: Quinn Roache, TUC Policy Officer (LGBT+, Equality, Disability), CSP Diversity Networks Thursday 11 February, 7 - 8.30pm
CSP Login@Lunchtime: Get active in the workplace
Attend one of our daily drop-ins with CSP organisers and diversity network members to network, ask questions and find out how you can get active. Monday 8, Tuesday 9, Wednesday 10 (midday to 1pm) Thursday 11, Friday 12 (1 to 2pm)
CSP student webinar: Get active in the CSP @thecspstudents
Join Student Reference Group members and CSP organisers to network, ask questions and find out how you can get active. Wednesday 10, time TBC
Follow our updates and sign up for events here
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