CSP stewards have successfully campaigned to change maternity leave rights for members at their trust, after being inspired by the society’s landmark case in Northern Ireland in August.
Campaigning physios: Katie Child and Rebecca Rance helped change maternity leave rights at Milton Keynes Hospital Trust
Physios Rebecca Rance and Katie Child at Milton Keynes Hospital Trust campaigned on behalf of eight affected CSP members who had not had public holidays recognised in their maternity leave.
Having raised the issue on a number of occasions with no response, in July the stewards submitted a collective grievance with support from the CSP.
The move followed the victory of member Niamh McDaid in Northern Ireland, who not only succeeded in changing her employer Western Trust’s policy on this matter, but also secured a commitment from the Department for Health and Social Services to amend policies for all NHS staff in Northern Ireland.
‘We were inspired by this case,’ said Ms Rance. ‘The human resources (HR) team didn’t acknowledge our grievance for a while, but we kept raising it at monthly joint negotiating committee meetings.’
Just before CSP national policy officer Penny Bromley was about to intervene by meeting with the HR management in November, the trust conceded in writing that staff are entitled to accrue bank holidays during maternity leave.
‘They will be amending their policy and writing a letter to all the aggrieved members,’ said Ms Rance. ‘But we don’t yet know the details of whether anyone will get back pay, it’s still an ongoing process.’
She added that the campaign showed that persistence pays. ‘It’s about being treated fairly. It’s in our terms and conditions that everyone is entitled to public holidays, and members who had been on or were about to take maternity leave felt they had been discriminated against.’
Ms Bromley told Frontline: ‘This is great news for members at the trust who will be taking maternity leave. The stewards have worked hard with the membership and it shows that good outcomes are possible’
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