We answer your questions below on: the CSP’s NHS pay ballots...
It is critical that CSP members understand the balloting process for undertaking industrial action so please do read these FAQs and others online.
CSP members are currently balloting for industrial action in Scotland and due to be in England and Wales over NHS pay in early November. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the ballots.
These are just a selection from a comprehensive list, including questions relating to each country and respective timetables, and on industrial action itself: NHS Pay.
What will be on the ballot paper?
The ballot paper will have two questions on it, a first question asking if you are prepared to take part in industrial action in the form of a strike, and a second question asking if you are prepared to take action short of strike. It will confirm the time and date by which you must return your ballot paper in order for it to be counted.
In addition, it will also contain a standard required paragraph confirming that, while strike action can amount to a breach of contract, if an employee is dismissed for taking part in strike action, that dismissal will be unfair if it takes place within 12 weeks of the start of any action and could also be unfair if it takes place after that point.
How is the CSP recommending members vote?
The CSP’s member-led council is recommending that members ‘vote Yes’ to both questions, and support both strike action, and also action short of strike.
Who can vote in the postal ballot?
We can only ballot members who can be called to take industrial action. This means that we will only consult with members who are currently employed in the NHS in Scotland, England and Wales under Agenda for Change terms and conditions. Therefore, we will not be consulting with:
- agency staff who are not also employed in the NHS
- members who are not currently employed
- members who work outside the NHS
I work on the bank. Can I vote?
Yes, as long as you are a CSP member employed in the NHS on Agenda for Change terms and conditions in the country where the ballot is being held, you can vote in the ballot.
Is my vote anonymous?
Yes, your vote is anonymous and secret. The ballot is run by Civica, which is an independent organisation and has a legal duty to keep the voting anonymous and secret. Neither your employer or the CSP will know how you vote.
What happens if I don’t respond?
If we get a very low turnout, the government and employers will assume that there is not much interest in your pay, so please make sure you use your vote to send a strong message that physiotherapists and physiotherapy support workers deserve fair pay.
In England and Scotland, in order for any industrial action to take place, there are two thresholds that must be met: at least 50 per cent of those eligible to vote must have voted, and at least 40 per cent of the total eligible to have voted must have voted for industrial action. In Wales the first threshold of 50 per cent applies.
What if I vote ‘no’ but the overall result of the vote is ‘yes’? And what if I vote ‘yes’ but then change my mind?
The decision about whether members will be called to take industrial action will be based on how the majority of members vote in the ballot. If the majority of CSP members have voted democratically to undertake industrial action, we hope that all members will support that majority decision and take part in the action. However, whether or not you attend work during any period of industrial action is of course your own personal decision.
If we vote ‘yes’, will we definitely achieve an improved pay offer?
We cannot make any guarantees about the final outcome and whether there will be an improved offer. However, we do think we have reached the stage when only industrial action is likely to make a difference. It is always the last resort and we will continue to try to reach agreement through negotiation, but we do think the government and employers need to understand how serious this is.
The only thing we can be certain of is that if we do not take any action, we will not receive an improved pay offer or award.
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