Physiotherapy staff in England to strike 22 March

CSP escalates our pay dispute with a near-doubling of our next strike, with members in 56 employers called to action

CSP members around a picketer with a megaphone
Physios on strike in January, photographer David Harrison

The biggest strike in our 2022/23 NHS pay campaign comes after the UK government refused to negotiate with health unions over NHS pay.  Up to 4,500 CSP members will now take part in our March strike date.

It follows two strikes on 26 January and 9 February in which physiotherapy staff at 30 and 33 trusts respectively walked out in an attempt to make the Government listen and deliver an improved pay deal.

Progress has continued to be seen in Scotland and Wales with respective governments engaging in negotiations and offering physiotherapy staff a better pay deal, and as a result strike action has been averted.

Escalating action in England 

A similar deal had been hoped for in England, and this week we welcomed the UK government finally opening negotiations about NHS pay. However, we saw the government in Westminster initially using the divisive tactic of only speaking to the Royal College of Nursing. With the exception of doctors and dentists, all NHS staff share the same pay, grading, terms and conditions and any resolution must reflect that.

In the absence of meaningful multi-union talks we are calling on members working in all remaining employers where we have a currently unused industrial action mandate to take strike action on 22 March.

The CSP – along with 12 other health unions – has also written to Health Secretary Steve Barclay raising concerns about the Government’s handling of the pay dispute, warning that failing to hold pay talks with every organisation representing striking NHS workers in England is “unacceptable, ill-considered and has potentially perilous consequences”.

Claire Sullivan, director of employment relations at the CSP, added: ‘It is incredibly frustrating for us to be at exactly the same point we were at the beginning of the year despite our continued calls for talks with the government.

‘The blanket silence from ministers on this issue has left us with no choice but to ask members to walk out again.

‘This strike will be our biggest yet meaning it will affect more patients and more areas of the NHS and it is simply inexplicable that the government is doing nothing to resolve this dispute.

‘Its tactics over the last week, speaking to just one union when all staff apart from doctors and dentists are on the same pay scale, were provocative, divisive and simply outrageous.

‘We have a mandate to strike in 119 trusts until June and will not hesitate to continue using it beyond March 22 if nothing changes.’

Physiotherapy staff will continue to provide emergency lifesaving care during the strike, including covering intensive care and respiratory on-call services.

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