Heartunions 2017 – Celebrate your CSP workplace reps

The CSP is urging members to get involved with activities to strengthen the CSP as a union during Heartunions week on 8-14 February.


The TUC-coordinated initiative, now in its second year, aims to highlight the positive impact of unions in workplaces and wider society.

Heartunions is designed to encourage more people to join unions and for members to get more engaged, including by stepping forward as union reps.

The initiative coincides with a new survey of CSP stewards showing how hard our reps work to support members, with two thirds doing union work in their own time.

It’s not all sacrifice, however. More than 90 per cent said the role had developed their skills and given them experience that had helped in their physiotherapy careers.

The survey, which closed mid-January, also found stewards felt they were strongly supported by the CSP, with nine respondents in 10 feeling valued by the society. Asked to describe the role, ‘interesting’, ‘challenging’ and ‘enjoyable’ were the most common words chosen.

The survey also collected a number of positive comments from managers.

Among them was Penny Tilbury, head of physiotherapy at Norfolk and Norwich University NHS Hospital Trust. She said: ‘Our CSP stewards are extremely valuable and are an important adjunct to our physiotherapy management team, working very closely with us to make sure that we give the staff the best working experience possible.

‘They alert me to policy changes that are being discussed, which I may not be aware of, and work with me to ensure that any changes needed are introduced as sensitively and as smoothly as possible.'

The research, based on responses from more than 300 stewards, suggested that one in 10 of them held a senior position in local ‘partnership arrangements’ between staff representatives and NHS managers. This is a high number given our relatively small size as a professional group.

Claire Sullivan, CSP director, employment relations and union services added: ‘Every year the CSP supports thousands of physiotherapy staff with problems at work. Local CSP reps help members to tackle issues and ensure a quality workforce delivering the best possible service to patients.’

Whether it’s joining in a lunchtime activity at work, recruiting a new member, or simply sharing positive messages, there’s plenty members can do during Heartunions week to say ‘I LOVE THE CSP’.

What you can do

  • join in a workplace activity – look out for details from your steward or safety rep  
  • recruit a non-member
  • Tweet positive messages about the CSP and/or photos of activity during the week. Include #heartunions @thecsp   
  • get more involved in your union 

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