Striking CSP members in Northern Ireland make their voices heard

CSP members working for Health and Social Care Northern Ireland (HSCNI) turned out in big numbers today for their first ever strike over pay.

CSP members on a picket line holding placards
CSP members picket outside Ulster Hospital

The strikes, which were covered across the media, took place at all seven employers in Northern Ireland from 8.30-12.30pm on 21 September, alongside action taken by other health unions. 

Bernie McGreevy, chair of the CSP Northern Ireland Board, told the BBC’s Good Morning Ulster that the lack of a fair pay award was having a direct impact on the workforce crisis.  

'We are the lowest paid in the whole of the UK, so we have real difficulty in trying to recruit staff into the NHS physiotherapy service and to retain those staff when they can go to the Republic of Ireland or Scotland and have much better terms and conditions and pay.' 

Members took to social media to share videos and photos from the well-attended picket lines and received messages of support from across the UK. 

Elaine Sparkes, assistant director of employment relations at the CSP, praised the courage of the members taking action. 

‘We’re very grateful to all members who took part because we know how hard a decision that will have been,’ she said.

No-one wants to strike but members feel they have been left with no choice and they showed today just how committed they are to pushing for a fair pay award that recognises all of their hard work while also supporting the massive need to recruit and retain more staff. Thank you to everyone who turned out today – your voices were heard.

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