Connect Physiotherapy, Healthshare, and the Percy Hedley Foundation have signed agreements that secure stronger relationships between the employers and the CSP, meaning a better deal for members.
Healthshare operations director Neil Cook signing a recognition agreement with the CSP's Karen Middleton
The organisations now recognise the CSP as being the trade union for physiotherapists and support staff and agree that employment relations and practices will be conducted to the highest standard.They will also provide facilities and support for CSP stewards and safety reps.
Discussions on issues such as appraisals, working conditions, lone working procedures and maternity arrangements are likely to take place, to the benefit all parties.
Healthshare provides physiotherapy, and services such as podiatry and acupuncture, at more than 50 clinics nationwide. Connect provides physiotherapy services for more than 15 clinical commissioning groups, while the Percy Hedley Foundation runs services for disabled people and their families in north east England, including specialist physiotherapy.
Andrew Walton, Connect executive chairman (above, left), said the recognition deal demonstrated that independent sector organisations offer good practice in employment matters.
Connect employs 250 staff, more than 100 of whom are physiotherapists, and will review the recognition agreement in a year.
Benefits of recognitionFor employers:
- better communication with all staff
- higher staff morale
- safer workplaces, with fewer working days lost to injury or illness
- involvement in improving working conditions and practices
- union expertise across a range of employment issues
- joint working on issues such as working arrangements and career development
‘We don’t see it as having a huge affect on our work, but we thought it was fair that if we want to be a member of the CSP family then we should have a recognition agreement in place,’ Mr Walton said.
Neil Cook, Healthshare operations director, said the recognition deal would boost joint working with the CSP on initiatives and innovations to develop the physiotherapy profession and enhance the role of physiotherapy in the health service.
‘We see CSP recognition within the organisation as a positive step to enhancing trust and confidence with our clinical teams – and as a conduit for helping to develop the profession,’ he said.
Percy Hedley chief executive Carole Harder said the charity wanted to increase staff engagement after staff numbers rose by half over the past four years to about 900.
The charity already had an elected staff engagement committee, but was keen to put relationships with the CSP and other unions on a more formal footing.
‘The engagement committee has worked really well with both sides bringing issues and it has had real input into what we do,’ she said.
‘We will keep it as a forum for staff alongside the joint consultative and negotiating committee, so we will have the best of both worlds.’
Claire Sullivan, the CSP’s director of employment relations and union services said: ‘While it is a given in the NHS, elsewhere formal “recognition” of trade unions is often seen as either irrelevant or even potentially damaging to relations with staff.
‘This is despite the fact that all the evidence is to the contrary, showing significant benefits for both employers and employees, including happier and healthier workplaces.
‘I’m delighted we’ve signed these three new agreements – we already have good working relationships with Connect, Healthshare and Percy Hedley and I’d like to give them all credit for taking this step. We’re now looking forward to working together and sharing our experiences and expertise.
Ms Sullivan added: ‘I hope others will want to take advantage of the benefits and follow in their footsteps.’
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