Iain Croker, organising officer for the south of England reveals how you can support and represent other members, as a CSP steward, safety rep or workplace contact.
The years of hard study have paid off and you are about to start in your new workplace (or have already started.) There’s so much to learn once you begin your physio career, it may not have occurred to you to consider becoming a CSP workplace steward or safety rep. In fact, we have a long history of graduates becoming stewards or safety reps early in their careers.
You’ll gain an array of soft-skills - communication, campaigning and negotiating competences - and have opportunities to represent your colleagues and the physio profession. You’ll also discover more about trade unions and what this looks like at the CSP.
Being elected as a steward is a great way to learn about the profession and get to know the CSP. You may be involved in negotiations at different levels, with other health unions, your line manager or departmental manager.
As a safety rep you’ll represent CSP members on all matters relating to their health & safety at work. You’ll carry out health and safety inspections and ensure managers consult with you on behalf of members regarding new equipment or technology. You’ll find CSP safety reps and stewards performing their role across a diverse range of workplaces from the health to universities, industry, the Ministry of Defence and more…
Workplace contact is another way to become involved in your union and be part of the CSP team. It is a voluntary and more informal role that does not come with paid time off but encourages you to assist your steward or safety rep. You might help set up a member meeting, distribute CSP literature or recruit new members. Many in this role go on to become stewards and safety reps after enjoying being the voice of the CSP in the workplace.
These vital positions not only help build the influence of the CSP, but also opens new doors to you in terms of your development and career.
It’s important to stress that you won’t do this alone – official activists are part of a large community and network of support. Full training is provided (currently by distance learning) and is supplemented by regular regional training and events. As well as getting to know your fellow stewards and safety reps, you’ll have the support of your regional stewards, reps and a CSP senior negotiating officer. What’s more, CSP stewards and Safety reps receive paid time off to undertake their duties.
You will be supported by CSP resources, including our guide to help you during the Covid-19 crisis, which is regularly updated.
So how do you sign up?
- get elected by your CSP member colleagues
- complete an accreditation form
- book your training.
We’re here to help you with each step towards becoming a CSP rep.
For an informal chat and to discuss any questions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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