Here's a flavour of just some of work your local CSP reps have undertaken on your behalf in 2017.
And if you are aware of a vacancy for a safety rep or steward in your trust/board, please consider stepping forward for the post yourself: see www.csp.org.uk/getorganised for more information on getting more involved in the union locally.
13 temporary physiotherapy posts were made permanent after the intervention of two CSP stewards. The positive outcome of ensuring all substantive posts were permanent contracts came after negotiations and a threatened grievance at a Scottish board.
Five therapist posts were saved at a trust in the South of England thanks to the work of 3 CSP stewards working alongside British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT) reps. The initial proposals that involved axing three physio posts came under a cost improvement plan. Lengthy and frequent discussions with HR, the head of therapies and service managers followed.
After a threat of instigating a collective grievance – if the organisational change process was not formally pursued – the head of therapies and the clinical assurance panel decided to shelve the plans. A team of three CSP stewards had produced plenty of documentary evidence regarding the clinical risk, the impact on service delivery and patient safety.
CSP members at a London trust who had been denied enhanced pay for annual leave with overtime had it restored, along with arrears, after joint staff side action. The steward at the hospital noticed that pay of physio staff for overtime and annual leave had changed when it switched payroll services. Many managers stated that the staff no longer got enhanced pay for annual leave with overtime.
Through discussions between unions through a local partnership fora it transpired a porter who worked nights on a permanent basis had his enhancement docked too. The CSP teamed up with another health union to prepare a grievance. The trust was informed, prompting a rethink by management before the grievance was issued.
CSP and other union reps at a Midlands trust have knocked back proposals to cut access to lease cars for staff who need them for work. The trust management sought to impose a change to existing arrangements that would have raised the minimum mileage from 3,500 to 6,500. This would have forced lease car holders clocking up between 3,500 and 6,500 miles into salary sacrifice schemes. The change had been added as part of the trusts new salary sacrifice scheme, without consultation.
The salary scheme involves staff voluntarily giving up an amount of their salary in exchange for benefits: in this case, to enable staff to drive a maintained and insured car for 3 years for a fixed monthly amount, deposit free. Under the previous lease car arrangements, staff could apply for a car if they travelled (or expected to travel) a minimum of 3,500 miles in a year. The joint staff side challenged the imposed scheme and it has reverted to the original lower mileage. Up to 20 CSP staff have benefited from the protection of these benefits.
Clinical leadership was maintained at one service in Scotland after CSP stewards coordinated an effective response to proposals to replace a Band 8A physio with a combined physio and occupational therapy manager. The stewards consulted with staff as part of a process to develop a case that highlighted governance and professional leadership risks. This was repeated after management came back with a redrafted set of proposals.
The working environment of 10 physio staff at a Scottish NHS board was made safer and healthier thanks to action by the local safety rep. The uneven physio gym floor was a trip and manual handling hazard. The rep completed a workplace inspection and identified problems were fed back to the team lead, management and estates, resulting in a gym refurbishment that evened out the floor.
Lighting and mould on walls were making six staff unwell at a North West trust. In response, CSP safety rep Paula Wheeler met with managers and the estates department. Subsequently, staff have reported better health, including an end to migraines, after lighting was adjusted and walls redecorated.
An organisational change process affecting 20 staff involving a site move and job redesigns at a North West trust was made more 'bearable' thanks to the intervention of the local steward. She ensured the organisational change policy was followed, liaised between managers and staff, and flagged up correct process for rewriting job descriptions.
Bullying and harassment
A steward worked with staff side colleagues to raise awareness of bullying and harassment policies and support available to staff at a trust in the North West of England. Local results from the 2016 England-wide NHS Staff Survey were not good: the proportion of staff reporting and experiencing incidents of harassment, bullying or abuse from service users was both higher than the national average and on the increase.
Staff health, safety and welfare were taken into account in a physio department relocation and rebuild at a trust in the North West of England after the intervention of the local CSP safety rep. The trust hadn't initially properly considered how key aspects of the working conditions of 200 odd staff would be affected by the plans.
But in response to the proposals, the CSP safety rep undertook a member survey and met management and architects, presenting the findings and suggesting changes to the trust's original blueprint. The proposals were taken on board and the building works got underway.
Retire and return
A member retired and returned to work, overcoming initial opposition from her employer, thanks to support from her CSP steward. Management's original response to the request, a first in this Midlands-based therapy department although not elsewhere in the trust, was not positive. However, the steward reviewed the request to see whether it could fit with an ongoing therapy restructure.
She advised the member to bolster her case by emphasising the positive benefit retaining of an experienced member of staff. The steward also counselled the member to make the request formally under the employer's Retire and Return scheme. This approach was successful. The new post offered changed from the members' existing Band 7 and hours to fewer (15) hours in Band 6.
A capability process that hadn't been followed properly was corrected by the local steward, leading to a member moving from the more formal to a less serious informal stage in the process. The steward represented the member.