Physiotherapists join Mass Day of Action over pensions justice
NHS physiotherapy staff working in England, Scotland and Wales have overwhelmingly voted to take strike action over the government’s plans to reduce their pensions.
CSP members backed industrial action by 86%, on a turn out of 66%, over proposals that would force them to pay more and work up to the age of 68 for a pension that in many cases will be significantly lower.
Many physiotherapy staff would be unable to work to 68 after a long career in such a physically demanding profession.
The strike, on November 30th, will be the CSP’s first in 31 years and will coincide with action taken by other public sector unions.
Alex MacKenzie, chair of CSP’s Industrial Relations Committee, said: “Physiotherapy staff are in the front line of caring for patients and are dedicated professionals, so this was an extremely difficult decision for them to take.
“The message from our members however was loud and clear: we need to take this action to protect our pensions.
“Our aim has always been and remains a negotiated settlement. The government has finally shown a willingness to negotiate, but the announcement two weeks ago in Parliament fell well short of an acceptable offer.
“The protection arrangements will not benefit the majority of our members who are under 40, staff who work hard to deliver high quality care for patients.
“We will continue to play a full role in negotiations but the government will need to address members’ real concerns over the proposals as they currently stand.
“The government’s proposals for higher contributions of up to 50% are unreasonable while the NHS pay freeze is ongoing and high inflation squeezes household budgets.
“It should also be remembered that the NHS pension scheme was reformed just three years ago and is both affordable now and sustainable in the future. Indeed, the NHS pension scheme contributed a £2bn surplus for the Treasury last year.”
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