Workplace wins

Your CSP steward and safety reps are there to support you on individual workplace problems and to help coordinate collective responses to problems affecting groups of members. We share some of their successes

Workplace Wins

Win 1: Organisational change consultation 

A specialist emergency care hospital in the North East wanted to implement a nightshift model, alter staff on-call arrangements, and provide a physiotherapy inpatient service for acute respiratory patients and potential discharges from their emergency department. 

The hospital initiated an organisational change process, which committed management to run a consultation with staff involved.  

Prior to the formal consultation process, staff affected by the change were involved in some pre-planning work to develop possible options for nightshift arrangements. Union representatives were involved throughout.  

The involvement of staff with support from our rep, Zoe, was an opportunity to shape the initial management proposals put to staff. The process of consultation enabled Zoe to support CSP members through group meetings and individual one-to-ones and formalise a collective response to the consultation. 

Zoe reports that ‘change is easier if staff are involved and feel listened to. Data collection is helpful to identify and make the case for delivering safe and high quality care.’ 

After CSP members participated in the consultation process, the hospital implemented our members’ preferred nightshift model last August, committing to review arrangements at six months.

Win 2: Protecting physiotherapy space 

On World Allied Health Professions Day 2021, a NHS trust’s management informed our workplace team that they intended to relocate the entire physiotherapy department off-site within five weeks. 

‘We were told not to put the Christmas tree up,’ exclaimed CSP steward Robert.

‘This would have had a significant impact, not only affecting staff working in outpatients but also our ward-based teams. It would have seen the loss of our main gym, our shower and locker facilities, our clinic rooms, and offices needed for confidential conversations.’             

To resist the proposals, Robert explained: ‘We took an organising approach. We arranged digital workplace meetings to outline what we knew, gather the concerns of our members and discuss submitting a collective dispute.

‘To assess the potential impact, we asked members to complete a short online survey. This looked at a number of factors including travel to and from work, the use of staff welfare facilities, and clinical use of the physio gym.

‘We then wrote a letter outlining our concerns, sending copies to the trust’s directors and executive board. We also contacted colleagues in other trade unions, to make sure the issue was raised at our joint staff negotiating committee (JSNC). 

‘We contacted our freedom to speak up guardian, to inform them of the situation and make it easier for non-members to raise their concerns. We contacted the Care Quality Commission to raise our members’ patient-care concerns with them directly.’ 

Following this work, CSP reps secured a meeting with the trust’s senior management, which agreed to postpone the relocation until a permanent solution was formally agreed.

Management also agreed to form a steering group to inform a new consultation process, which would have to be brought to JSNC for approval. 

‘Two heads are better than one’

Join the team as a job share 

We can only provide workplace support if we have a strong team of stewards, safety reps and workplace contacts.    

CSP members are encouraged to put themselves forward for all trade union roles and can stand alone or on a job share basis.

CSP steward Helen explains: ‘We first made our steward role a joint position after we volunteered to chair our trust’s joint negotiating and consultation committee. This seat helped us support CSP members and other trade unionists, but increased rep workload and responsibilities.  

‘While we no longer chair the committee, the job share allows one of us to attend all council meetings and the other has more time for monthly policy reviews. We are currently supporting a colleague returning to work with Long Covid and the joint role allows us to help each other when advising and representing members.’ 

If you are interested then speak to the CSP rep in your workplace, to find out more. 

Workplace issues?

If you need support on an employment matter or on health and safety, contact your workplace rep in the first instance, or call the CSP Enquiries Team on 020 7306 6666 or

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