I received a ballot this week from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (CSP) about whether I was in favor or against an industrial action (strike) on November 30. The strike will be a one-day affair, not walking out indefinitely until an agreement is reached. I wonder about the efficacy of such a short statement. All it takes is one good snowstorm to bring all work in the UK to a stop for a day or two anyway. This allays many of my concerns about patient safety and impact on care.
Why is the CSP considering this action? Primarily due to proposed changes in the pension plans for NHS employees. The changes would include decreasing the amount paid out (currently about 7,000 GBP/year for men and 5,000 GBP/year for women... no, I don't know why that is so different), increasing contributions by 3.2 percent on average (none of which will go into the actual pension plans but rather to the general Treasury) and probable future contribution increases. As it stands, the NHS has frozen salaries for two years and the general terms and conditions of employment are being reviewed. It is a tenuous time to be working in the NHS.
I'm not going to disclose how I voted in a public forum such as this. I have no idea about the potential for any repercussions. When you look at what someone receives as a pension, you can understand the outrage at lowering it. Several thousand pounds are not much to live on. It will be interesting to see how the majority has voted. Even more interesting to see if this will make a difference.