CSP contributions continued on the second say of this year’s TUC Congress, as members spoke in support of a wide range of topics.
Regional Steward, Mike Mander, spoke to Congress Hall about working conditions at his workplace during the height of the pandemic and the importance of submitting evidence to the Covid-19 public inquiry.
Were it not for the intervention of trade union support, we were minutes away from senior management withdrawing all PPE use from all staff with immediate effect
‘This led to PPE working groups being set up with trade union representation at all levels to ensure staff were protected. These are the stories that need to be heard in the independent inquiry.’
During his speech, Mike was also able to announce that 88 per cent of members who voted in the Northern Ireland ballot on pay, voted yes to strike action.
1.7 million women in UK experience domestic abuse
Heidi Rolfe-Hill, CSP regional steward, delivered a powerful speech to Congress.
In her speech, she shared her own experience of domestic abuse and highlighted that 6.9 per cent of women and girls aged 16 and over experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2022.
She further highlighted the need to ensure Black, Asian, and minority ethnic, disabled, migrant, older and LGBTQIA+ survivors need their own specialist support.
Heidi told delegates that: ‘Despite ratifying the International Labour Organisation’s convention on Violence and Harassment, the UK government has rowed back from making amendments to the Equality Act, that could help tackle cultures of sexual harassment at work and make the world of work a safer and more inclusive place for all.’
Marginalised communities suffer most from climate change, pollution and loss of nature
Safety rep, Sam Grover, delivered a rousing speech to Congress on the climate breakdown and its health consequences.
Sam said: ‘A diverse and accessible natural world is essential for pharmacology, physical activity, mental health and respiratory health.
The loss of public open spaces limits access to physical activity, worsening the global surge in non-communicable diseases
‘We endorse initiatives taken towards Net-Zero, and ecological recovery. But we also insist that workers are central to establishing, implementing and tracking these initiatives.
Born in Stockport, raised in trade unions.
Deputy leader of the Labour party, Angela Rayner, also spoke to conference on Tuesday.
In her speech, she spoke about the life-changing impact being a trade union member had on her life, beginning when she was a social care workers and member of UNISON.
She also outlined plansshould Labour be in government to repeal the Minimum Service Levels Strikes Act, alongside allowing unions to ballot their members electronically over strike action.
Under current law, unions must ballot their members by post – both more time consuming and expensive.
Anti Racism Tracker
In 2022, the CSP were one of many unions who singed up to the TUC Anti-Racism Taskforce Manifesto.
The Taskforce, launched in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the Covid-19 pandemic, spent two years hearing the experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic workers across the UK and in 2022 produced a manifesto, setting out what trade unions and the TUC will do to secure the economic and social justice of Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
On Tuesday, the Taskforce announced an Anti-Racism Tracker – a live resource for all union members to understand what progress their union has made, but also what they should be prioritising in each area of work. The tracker will provide suggestions and outline next steps, as well as sharing examples of where unions are leading the way.
Justice for Colombia
Members of the CSP delegation, alongside the Chair and Vice-Chair of Council, also met with Justice for Colombia and the President of the Colombian trade union federation ‘Central Unitaria de Trabajadores,’ Fabio Arias Giraldo.
CSP director of employment relations, Claire Sullivan said: ‘It was a real privilege to meet the Fabio.
As a long-time supporter of Justice for Colombia, we are delighted to hear about the moves towards sustainable peace in the country following the election of a new government
‘Nevertheless, Colombia remains the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade union activist and we will continue our support for Justice for Colombia and trade union colleagues facing abuse and injustice globally.’
Follow on Twitter / X: @thecsp #TUC23
- Anti-Racism Tracker | TUC
- CSP declares climate and nature emergency | The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
- Anti-racism taskforce | The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (csp.org.uk)
- The UK Covid-19 Inquiry | The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (csp.org.uk)
- If you are a CSP member and are interested in being part of the CSP delegation to future TUC conferences, get in touch with National Officer Siân Caulfield
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