Union structure

Member support and representation is at the heart of the CSP's trade union structure. This is achieved through six primary organisational structures. Kumquat.

Find out more about each one on this page, and how they combine to provide a comprehensive and responsive service.

Employment Relations & Union Services (ERUS)


Should you have a problem in the workplace, your CSP steward or safety rep will always be your first point of contact – they are there to help.

Stewards and safety reps are familiar with your workplace, they know local managers and HR staff and also have a greater understanding of local policies and procedures. They can therefore offer advice, support and representation on any matter related to your employment.

My CSP rep has been a massive support in getting me back to work

Typically this will concern pay, your employment contract, disciplinaries, grievances and capability matters, injury or ill health. Where necessary, they can negotiate with your employer on your behalf.

Your local reps are supported by a network of regional stewards and safety representatives, and by regionally-based CSP officers, known as senior negotiating officers (SNOs). SNOs will normally assist when local reps need extra help in resolving a problem, or in progressing a claim to improve working conditions.

ERUS officers undertake research, policy and advice work in a range of specialist areas. This extends to pay, grading, health and safety, employment law, equality and diversity, pensions, workforce development and other issues. Officers also respond to government proposals on employment and health policy and routinely take part in employment negotiations.

You were fantastic support throughout the whole situation

Working alongside ERUS officers are a number of support staff, who are often the first point of contact for members and representatives when you telephone the ERUS directorate.

ERUS staff also work closely with colleagues in other CSP directorates, notably Practice and Development (P&D), and Strategy, Policy and Engagement (SPED). As a member, you should experience a comprehensive and seamless service from the society.

Industrial Relations Committee (IRC)

The society's IRC has executive responsibility for pay, conditions of service and other trade union matters. It can make decisions on trade union issues without having to refer to Council, the CSP's governing body.

The IRC has membership-wide representation encompassing managers, educators, students, support workers, stewards, safety reps and those working outside the NHS. CSP representatives on TUC equality committees are also invited to attend as observers.

Regional Stewards

Stewards in each region meet regularly and elect a regional steward. Regional stewards organise as a national group that helps develop CSP strategy on workplace issues. The group also plays an important role in informing the CSP's position on issues affecting its members, not least the NHS.

The national group also coordinates regional training days for stewards, submits motions to the Annual Representative Conference and plays an active role within the TUC. CSP delegations routinely attend key TUC conferences. The group meets three times a year and nominates representatives to attend other CSP committees.

Regional Safety Representatives

Safety reps in each region meet regularly and elect a regional representative. Regional safety reps organise as a national group that helps to develop health and safety policies, CSP campaigns, and resources for the safety reps network.

The national group also coordinates regional training days for safety reps and submits motions to the Annual Representative Conference. The group meets twice a year and has representatives on the Industrial Relations Committee and other CSP committees/working groups. The CSP's national health & safety officer supports and assists the national group.

Diversity networks

The CSP has three diversity network groups: one for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) members, one for disabled members, and one for black and minority ethnic members (BME).

Any CSP member who self-identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, disabled or from any ethnic minority can join these groups. In addition, any CSP member interested in and supportive of the work of a diversity network can join as an associate.

Find out more about CSP diversity networks

Annual Representatives Conference (ARC)

ARC is a yearly opportunity for CSP members to come together to discuss and debate what matters most to them. It takes place in the spring over two days and moves location around the country year on year.

Any CSP member can attend and speak at conference, but only nominated representatives are entitled to vote on motions. Any motions that are carried are subsequently discussed and acted on by CSP Council. In this way ARC acts as a springboard for shaping CSP policy.

Representatives to ARC are nominated by CSP networks, Regional Steward and Safety Rep national groups. Diversity network groups, students and associate members also send representatives.

Find out more about ARC

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