CSP members cast their votes to decide whether to take industrial action for the first time in 31 years

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Physiotherapists are today balloting for industrial action over pensions to join the November 30th day of action.

It is the first time in 31 years members of the CSP have balloted – a move that shows how concerned they are about the government’s proposed changes to public sector pensions that would see members pay more for a reduced pension that they would have to work longer to receive.

The chair of CSP’s industrial relations committee, Alex MacKenzie, said: “We believe that the government is not truly committed to genuine negotiations on the key issues. Our aim remains a negotiated outcome but in the meantime we are reluctantly asking members to consider strike action.

“The NHS pension scheme – which was reformed only three years ago – is both affordable now and sustainable in the long-term. It should be remembered that £2bn more goes into the Treasury each year through contributions from workers than is paid out to retirees.

“These are not gold-plated retirement funds we’re talking about either; the average NHS pension is about £7,000 a year. To cut that – in the most extreme cases by up to half – would be deeply unfair to physiotherapists and other NHS workers who already face a pay freeze and increased workloads as health service cuts start to bite.”

The CSP joins nineteen other unions in preparing for action on November 30th. Members of ATL, NUT, PCS and UCU have already voted “Yes” to strike action, with AEP, Aspect, BAOT, EIS, FDA, GMB, MiP, NASUWT, POA, Prospect, SCP, SoR, UCAC, UNISON and Unite are in the process of balloting their members.

Alex MacKenzie said: “Our members are already working harder and because of the pay freeze and high inflation, they are facing the biggest squeeze on their living standards in a generation. Now the government wants to take another bite out of our pay packets through higher contributions, and to make us work longer, all for a smaller pension.

“The proposed changes are unnecessary and unfair. It’s time we said ‘Enough is enough’ so we are urging members: vote ‘Yes’ to protect your pension.’

The ballot result is expected to be announced on November 14th.


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