CSP members across the UK showed some love for the CSP and promoted the benefits of being in a trade union during the TUC’s Heart Unions week (10-14 February)
Stalls were held in North Middlesex Hospital in London and Peterborough City Hospital in Cambridgeshire while workplace meetings were held in Powys Teaching Health Board, Brecon War Memorial Hospital, Llandrindod Wells War Memorial Hospital and Newtown Hospital in Wales.
In Wales, CSP professional adviser Shan Aguilar Stone, CSP officer Isabella Hawkins and senior negotiating officer Adam Morgan briefed members on the priorities that the CSP are working on UK-wide and in Wales and sought volunteers for the roles of stewards, safety rep and workplace contacts. A number of reps were recruited.
Members also got together and took photos to share their #heartunion messages via social media in South Warwickshire Foundation Trust in the West Midlands.
In addition to efforts at building the local union team this year there was a particular focus on the issue of sexual harassment.
In most workplaces, it is up to the victim to report it - which can be isolating, confusing and traumatic. Four out of five people don’t feel able to report sexual harassment to their workplace.
The CSP is part of the #ThisIsNotWorking campaign seeking a new law to ensure employers take steps to prevent sexual harassment at work.
The campaign was launched last year in the wake of a new International Labour Organisation convention that requires governments around the work to take action to end sexual harassment in the workplace.
Meeting last week in Quorn, Leicestershire, members of the CSP’s National Group of Regional Stewards (NGRS) rallied behind the campaign.
Jill Taylor, chair of NGRS, said: 'The most recent NHS staff survey showed that more than 15 per cent of NHS employees have experienced violence from patients, their relatives or the public in the last 12 months – the highest figure for five years.
'This convention is to be welcomed as it requires governments, including our own, to take measures to protect workers from violence and harassment.’
Members of the public as well stewards and members signed a petition calling on the government to act at heart unions activities organised by the CSP.
Joint health union activity
Heartunions week has been running for a number of years but this was the first where the CSP worked alongside our colleagues from both Royal College of Midwives and the College of Podiatry to run joint health union stalls in the hospitals.
Kevin Dale, CSP Organising Officer said: ‘This approach is part of an increase in joint work among health unions. For example, we have ongoing work with the Royal College of Nursing in many hospitals.
'All the health unions agree that many of the issues our members face are the same and working together to support them is beneficial to all.’
Physiotherapist and support workers joined CSP at the stalls to both show their support for the work CSP does and stewards were on hand to explain how they can help members in the workplace.
At Peterborough City Hospital Claire Sullivan, director of CSP's Employment Relations and Union Services (ERUS), attended and members came to ask questions and obtain information on the CSP.
In North Middlesex CSP organising officers talked to members and non-members about the benefits of membership and how to get more involved in the CSP.
Kevin Dale added: ‘This annual event is a great way for CSP organisers, staff and stewards to explain the work they do and talk to members about how they can get more involved in the activities of CSP from becoming a steward themselves, a safety rep, a workplace contact or being involved in their CSP regional network.
‘We successfully shared with staff lots of leaflets and other CSP material to raise awareness of the benefits CSP membership and our activities and the CSP organisers will now be working with stewards to build on the work done at these workplaces to get staff more engaged and active with CSP.’
Find out how you can get involved in the CSP in the workplace: https://www.csp.org.uk/workplace/what-you-can-do
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