Ten things the CSP did for members in the workplace in 2022, plus messages of thanks and solidarity to the rep network from the CSP's elected and staff leadership.
CSP workplace support in numbers
- 2,000+ members attended 72 in-person and online meetings on NHS pay across the UK
- 1,200+ attendances of reps at regionally based CSP-delivered training, both in person and online
- ~1,000 queries from members handled on workplace issues (excluding pay) where advice was provided
- 405 attendances at 17 Diversity Network events
- 184 stewards and safety reps completed induction training
- 41 HCPC cases taken by CSP senior negotiating officers and CSP lawyers Thompsons
- 21 employment law cases handled
- 11 settlement agreements (resolutions made out of court) reached
- 25 personal injury cases supported
- Unquantifiable ad hoc advice provided by our in-house lawyer to assist our senior negotiating officers support members.
This year has been dominated by efforts by NHS health unions and their members to secure fair pay in the NHS. Despite huge workplace pressures, reps showed amazing commitment to help ensure we got fantastic results in the industrial ballots in Scotland, Wales and England.
Whatever the next steps, CSP reps and members should all be immensely proud of the result. Our pay work has also strengthened the union locally, as our organising team has taken opportunities presented by the high number of member meetings and heightened engagement of members to recruit workplace reps.
Thank you from the CSP Council
We’d like to offer our thanks for the ongoing support provided to members over the past year. And what a year it has been!
The centrality of your work to the CSP – from delivering our historic pay ballots, to representing members facing workplace issues, through to organising around our policy ambitions over rehabilitation – has never been clearer. We couldn’t deliver for members without you.
We hope you have a chance to recharge and relax during the Christmas and New Year period. We’re looking forward to working with you all in the future. Best wishes,
Ishmael Beckford (chair of Council) and Alex Spearritt (Council vice-chair)
The CSP returned to in-person training! We also:
- Launched a new online safety reps independent learning course.
- Launched a new blended stewards induction course.
- Ran a new stewards induction stage two course, focussing on skills-based learning.
- Returned to our in-person ‘regional training days’, improving reps’ skills and knowledge on representing members around sickness absence and how to recognise and tackle discrimination in the workplace.
ARC and Rep of the Year
Returning after a two-year break, the CSP’s Annual Representative Conference was a fantastic opportunity for reps and other CSP activists to connect with CSP staff, members of CSP council and each other, while debating key issues for members.
A highlight was a revamped, expanded Rep of the Year awards with two new categories for teams of reps and outstanding contributions to equality, as well as the existing awards for stewards and safety reps. Overall, 61 nominations were secured from members, higher than in previous awards.
The awards enabled the CSP to showcase the amazing but often unsung work carried out by our reps. It also created a positive feedback loop, generating new reps and reminding members to contact them quickly if they are in need.
Thank you from the chair of the Employment Committee
Our trade union is dependent on our reps to be there when needed for all our members and you have not disappointed, truly stepping up when asked.
I know this festive period will be difficult for many as we support our colleagues in both RCN and the ambulance services who have taken the difficult decision to strike and we prepare for our own action.
I hope you all get some rest and an opportunity for some down time. Thank you again and I wish you all a merry Christmas and the very best for 2023.
Stewards have done a stunning job supporting many, many members this year with individual cases and collective issues. Your support to members is supplemented by the work of CSP staff who provided advice to members and our stewards, mainly where there are no CSP reps and the most complex cases. See some of the thanks members shared about the support they received.
- We supported and empowered new workplace reps through a number of online ‘organising clinics’.
- We made it a priority to sign up new stewards, following evidence the numbers of recruits had been falling off over the past two years. Early signs are that these additional efforts are paying off.
- We have also learned a lot about our reps network, their needs, preferences and activity with the first reps’ survey for several years: this insight will help up us tweak and focus our support where it is needed most.
Thank you from the vice president
As I stepped down from my role as Chair of Council in November, it has given me time to reflect on the year we have had.
As a committed trade unionist I have never been prouder of my union, the CSP, in standing up for members and our profession.
And that is in no small part down to you, the reps, for your tireless work to deliver the result in the pay ballots. I am well aware this is on top of all your normal work.
So from me a massive thanks to you all and I wish you a restorative festive period and best wishes for the year ahead.
Equity, Diversity and Belonging (EDB)
- Our new equality reps did some fantastic work this year, aiding members and working alongside stewards and safety reps in a handful of employers. This small-scale pilot is now being evaluated for next steps.
- We made great strides in strengthening Diversity Networks with new constitutions and expanded leaderships in place. They met for a fab in-person, joint diversity network day after a three-year Covid-induced pause.
- A member of the DisAbility network was nominated and succeeded in joining the Trades Union Congress' (TUC) National Disability Committee, extending our influence on disability issues within the trade union movement.
- We participated in three TUC equality conferences, raising the profile of EDB issues affecting our members. In the West Midlands we made influential connections to progress EDB within the NHS system, as well as raised awareness among employers and decision makers about our own EDB strategy.
Stewards in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board fought hard to ensure physios in the workplace had a space where they could perform admin tasks, eat lunch and take breaks. Members were having to sit on the floor and in corridors to eat lunch.
But stewards fought and developed a photo petition to force the health board in to ensuring they had adequate space to do their jobs.
In addition, through the work of the Wales Reps Race Equality group, we have significantly increased the ethnic diversity of our steward and rep network in Wales.
Thank you from CSP director of employment relations and union support
Although it’s hard to believe, I know 2022 has been an even tougher year for many than the two that preceded it. Services have struggled with long waiting times, Covid recovery work, loss of rehab space, staff shortages and, of course, NHS pay.
My enormous thanks for everything that you as reps have continued to do to make sure that members’ lives at work are better and fairer.
In particular thank you for advocating for an NHS pay award in Northern Ireland and for the industrial action mandates that you delivered in every health board in Wales; in all but one organisation in Scotland; and in 124 organisations in England. This is a truly remarkable achievement.
I hope you are able to have a recuperative break over the holiday period and all best wishes for 2023.
We recruited a new negotiating and casework officer, Matthew Tucker, freeing up our existing senior negotiating officers to spend more time on influencing work with the Scottish government and employers around employment matters. This has ensured the level of casework and other support to members and reps has been maintained.
Through NHS Scotland partnership and negotiating groups – on which the CSP has a seat – we have influenced plans and activity around guidance on working at Christmas when it is a weekend; Scottish governments equalities work; workforce planning; digital strategy for NHS Scotland; climate strategy; and a national care service. We also raised the profile of the CSP and our campaigns to defend rehab space at the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and equality at the STUC LGBT workers conference.
The CSP contributed to improved disciplinary and grievance policies. The latter now includes a status quo clause, meaning rules and practices that led to a grievance remain in place until the dispute resolution procedure have been resolved, a protection against management attempts to impose changes to terms and conditions.
We attended the all-island Women's Conference of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Northern Ireland committee of the ICTU conference, where we presented two motions on equality issues.
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