How the CSP represents members in the workplace
CSP reps – your first port of call
It is normal for students to be nervous about their first job in physiotherapy. While it is likely that you will face challenges with your employers at some point in your career, there is support available to you if and when you need it.
As a trade union, the CSP offers advice, support and representation on matters related to our members’ employment. This is available to both chartered and associate members.
Most members’ first port of call will be their local CSP steward. Stewards work in physiotherapy themselves, and are elected by their fellow CSP members to be their workplace representative. Your ‘reps’ will have received specialist training from the CSP to assist you on issues related to pay, employment contract, disciplinary procedures, and grievances.
The CSP also supports a national network of health and safety representatives, also elected by local CSP members. These reps advise and represent members on matters relating to health, safety and welfare at work and ensure employers fulfil their legal obligations to keep employees safe.
You can read more about our reps, and the workplace wins they have secured for members here. The CSP’s senior negotiating officers support our reps on more complicated cases and advise members directly when no rep covers their workplace. This is the case even outside of the NHS.
The CSP also proudly represent our members on the national stage, negotiating for improvements in pay and workplace standards.
Francesca Peplow,a pre-registration MSc student, tells us why she plans to step up as a CSP rep when she graduates:
In the future, as part of my development, I aspire to train as a CSP steward, advising and representing colleagues who experience difficulties at work.
I believe leadership skills are valuable to physiotherapists at all levels and becoming a CSP steward hones these skills whilst also helping your colleagues. Being an exceptional physiotherapist requires mastery of ‘soft skills’. Taking on the responsibility of being a CSP steward gives physiotherapists time to advance these skills which improve communication within a multi-disciplined team and result in better patient care.’
Get involved, get organised
We encourage all our members to play an active role with the CSP. The CSP benefits from the knowledge and experience that students and recent graduates bring into the profession. While becoming active in the CSP as a rep, network member, or activist opens up a wealth of training, personal and professional development opportunities.
Fighting discrimination, promoting diversity
Opposing discrimination within the workplace, whether it is experienced by employees or students on placement, is fundamental to the work of the CSP and our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy.
Our three diversity networks which are open to all CSP members including students, play a key role in this. The networks are working to promote a more diverse profession, that is more representative of the patients and communities we work with.
Shagofa Qhadamzadah, a pre-reg MSc student, tells us why she joined the CSP’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Network:
I joined to be a part of a group that represented and voiced people like me. Being a student or even a recent graduate can be quite a daunting experience, and having the support from a community that represents you is reassuring whilst you’re on your journey. [membership has] made me more in-tune of the current affairs that affect BAME groups and individuals.
Find out more
If there is no CSP rep in your workplace, you can contact the CSP direct for advice by calling our enquiries team on 0207 306 6666. Find out about and join our three diversity networks here.
Students and recent graduates interested in getting active in their workplace can contact their CSP organisers to find out more here.
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