NHS physiotherapy staff across Wales to stage industrial action
NHS physiotherapy staff in all Welsh Health Boards will stage industrial action next month, it has been announced.
The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) said it is the first time physiotherapy staff in Wales have walked out over pay.
The planned industrial action on February 7 follows the CSP achieving mandates to strike across every health board in Wales, covering 1500 physiotherapy staff, through ballots held at the end of last year and this month.
The CSP participated in talks with the Welsh Government on 12 January along with eight other health unions.
Adam Morgan, senior negotiating officer for the CSP in Wales, said: “Physiotherapy staff in Wales will now walk out on a national day of action on February 7, but we will of course continue to meet with the Welsh Government to try to resolve this dispute.
“We want to be able to come back with a fair and firm pay offer that we can put to our members.
“Physiotherapists and support workers voted for strike action because the current pay award was not enough to help them through the cost of living crisis.
“It’s not a decision that any of our members in Wales take lightly but the current pay award does not go far enough to address the workforce crisis.
“No one wants to strike but physiotherapy staff have been left with no choice. Patients are struggling to get the care they need because a decade of under-investment in the NHS has led to chronic workforce shortages.
“It’s vital that there is a decent pay offer, not only to retain current physio staff but to attract new people to the profession.”
Commenting on news that physiotherapy staff working for all health boards in Wales will hold a one-day strike, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister Russell George MS said: “It is a shame the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay was unable to prevent this declaration of strike action by physiotherapists. The same goes for nurses. And midwives. And ambulance workers. And teachers.
“I know this is a difficult situation across the UK, but we must remember, that this is Labour’s responsibility and, on its watch, Wales has been left in a worse position – we’ve just recorded the worst A&E and ambulance response times on record and we have Britain’s longest waiting list.
“I fear that until Labour ministers retire the weathered handbook that says ‘blame Westminster’ whenever they are challenged for its poor record in office, these strikes won’t end, public services will not recover, and the people of Wales will continue paying the price.”
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