The CSP workplace team and Covid-19

CSP’s workplace teams have proved crucial in supporting members during the pandemic

The CSP workplace team and Covid-19
The CSP workplace team and Covid-19

Where members do not have a local steward, or are facing a particularly complex issue, CSP senior negotiating officers have also been on hand. Below is one example of the workplace wins our stewards have secured this year.

What was the problem?    

‘Our trust took the decision to not permit any home working if a child was sent home as part of a “bubble” isolation, and that staff members would need to take time off to supervise them.’

What did you do?

‘I asked that this issue be discussed at the trust’s partnership forum as urgent staffside business. With members of the trust’s executive group and HR directors in attendance, I expressed my view that the trust were being shortsighted by not considering the policy’s impact on patient flow.

‘The following week the trust reissued guidance, encouraging affected staff to work from home where possible. Standing up for this issue was important. Not only have CSP members benefitted, but so have patients who no longer face cancelled appointments.’

What did you learn?        

‘I didn’t expect my colleagues in other unions to support me as much as they did. I was able to gain their support by focusing on how the policy affected patient care and staff wellbeing.’

Senior negotiating officers – extra help when needed

Particularly in early months of the pandemic CSP senior negotiating officers (SNOs) had to frequently open negotiations with employers to make sure vulnerable members – such as pregnant staff – were adequately protected in the workplace and redeployed away from patient-facing work when necessary. 

SNOs have also supported members to feel confident in raising their own concerns about PPE and infection control procedures directly with their managers.  

SNOs have secured extensions to members’ sick pay and return to work processes. One complex case saw a member who – having handed in their three-month notice and then needing to take sick leave – found themselves denied occupational sick pay by both their old and new NHS-employer. By escalating the member’s concerns to the new trust’s senior HR team, our SNOs secured the full pay the member was entitled to, and clarified where responsibilities lay benefiting other members facing similar situations. 

Local implementation of the national furlough scheme has also been a contested issue. Through negotiations conducted at the national level, the CSP ensured that bank staff working for private providers received furlough pay based on previous hours worked, despite their zero-hour contracts. Likewise, negotiated settlements saw many members employed by private practitioners receive over-and-above statutory redundancy packages following changes to the furlough scheme in the autumn.  

Get organised – be part of the CSP workplace team

If you have an employment problem contact your local workplace steward, or if you don’t have one, contact CSP Enquiries on 0207 306 6666. If you are interested in becoming a CSP rep speak to the CSP steward in your workplace if you have one, or find more information and meet the team here.

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