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25 Jun 2024

Facing the future together – CSP’s ARC Conference 2024

Facing the future together – CSP’s ARC Conference 2024

The Annual Representative Conference (ARC) of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) gathers delegates from various CSP networks and representatives to debate motions that are vital to the profession. This year’s agenda addressed several crucial issues, including pay, terms and conditions, equality, diversity, belonging, international conflict, and environmental sustainability, among others. 

The motions discussed at ARC are advisory, meaning that if they pass, they are presented to the CSP Council to guide the council in setting strategy and policy. The Council will later report on the decisions made based on these motions. 

This year's ARC featured a variety of speakers who provided insights and inspiration to the delegates. Mark Hennessey, a CSP steward and Associate network officer, led the conference in commemorating the 40th anniversary of the 'Battle of Orgreave'. He shared the historical significance of the miners' year-long industrial struggle and the violent opposition they faced from the state. Mark emphasised the importance of remembering their sacrifices and continuing the fight for workers’ justice and equality. He encouraged CSP members to take pride in their activism and to stand in solidarity with their comrades. 

Jemima Olchawski, CEO of the Fawcett Society, addressed the conference on gender equality and women’s rights. She outlined several changes that should be pursued in the workplace and government policy to achieve equality for women. Jemima highlighted the need to make flexible work the default, as women often do the majority of unpaid labour at home, limiting their ability to progress due to part-time roles. She also stressed the importance of making workplaces safe for women by proactively challenging discrimination and ensuring women’s voices are heard to bring about systemic change. 

The conference also featured actor Ricky Tomlinson, who reflected on his experience with trade union activism. He recounted the 1972 national building workers' strike, which he described as the best action they took due to the safety improvements won for the industry, despite facing wrongful conviction and state repression. 

The conference concluded with a robust, member-led fringe program where delegates discussed various topics, including workplace organizing and the political engagement of CSP members. This provided an opportunity for delegates to engage in meaningful discussions and share their experiences and strategies for enhancing the profession and advocating for workers' rights. 

Overall, the ARC serves as a critical platform for CSP members to address pressing issues within the profession, propose actionable motions, and engage with influential speakers who inspire and inform their activism and professional development. 

Click here to read the CSP’s full conference summary: https://www.csp.org.uk/news/2024-06-20-arc-2024-facing-future-together  

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