Physiotherapists in England forced to escalate their strike action whilst pay offer from Welsh government accepted
Up to 4,500 physiotherapists will take their biggest strike yet on 22 March, in an escalation of their industrial action in England.
Members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) in 56 employers across the NHS will take part in the strike, nearly doubling the numbers from their previous strikes in January and February.
This comes as members in Wales accepted a pay deal from the Welsh government yesterday.
Following a ballot, members accepted an improved pay offer for 2022/23, which included a further three per cent on top of the £1,400 given to all staff, 1.5 per cent of which will be consolidated.
The government in England has been accused by the CSP of used ‘divisive tactics’, by choosing to negotiate pay with only the Royal College of Nursing.
Along with 12 other health unions, the CSP has written to Steve Barclay the Health Secretary raising concerns about the government’s handling of the pay dispute.
Unions have warned that failing to hold pay talks with all organisations that represent striking NHS workers in England is, ‘unacceptable, ill-considered and has potentially perilous consequences’.
With the exception of doctors and dentists, all NHS staff share the same pay, grading, terms and conditions, and the CSP say any resolution must reflect that.
The Director of Employment Relations at CSP, Claire Sullivan, said the government’s lack of action in the pay dispute was, ‘incredibly frustrating’.
“The blanket silence from ministers on this issue has left us with no choice but to ask members to walk out again,” said Sullivan.
“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.”
In Scotland, all trade unions are currently consulting on a pay offer from the Scottish Government concerning next year’s pay for NHS staff, with members recommended to accept the offer.
Hannah Davenport is trade union reporter at Left Foot Forward
Left Foot Forward’s trade union reporting is supported by the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust
As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.
We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.