College of social work talks break down

A bitter dispute between the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) and the College of Social Work (CSW) has been reignited.
The feud had appeared to have ended in May after both sides agreed to start negotiations to create a single UK-wide college of social work.
It was hoped this would lead to a permanent end to hostilities over BASW’s opposition to a membership deal CSW had signed with Unison.
But in a statement released today (21 September) the CSW said talks over a merger have broken down and it is to forge ahead with plans to launch without BASW involvement.
The CSW is looking to become a legal entity this autumn and hopes to open its doors to members on 3 January.
A CSW statement says: “In spite of our wholehearted endeavours to negotiate a merger with the British Association of Social Workers it has proved impossible to reach agreement with them within the necessary timescales.”
The CSW said it intends to resume talks with BASW after the college has been established.
A CSW spokesman said the involvement of Unison, which BASW had previously branded as “anti-competitive”, had remained a sticking point.
He said: “Our agreement with Unison is essential to this. Involving Unison means that our members would be represented by a recognised trade union.” 
BASW chair Fran Fuller said the organisation is “disappointed” and “surprised” by this latest move by CSW. 
She said: “The timing of this decision is incredibly disappointing for social workers and deeply troubling for those of us who have worked tirelessly towards creating a united college capable of delivering the real change our profession desperately needs.”
A statement from BASW adds that the organisation intended to stage an additional general meeting on 1 November “where it was to be proposed that we transfer our organisation’s entire assets into a new entity – a united college of social work across the UK”.
Membership services on offer by the new college from this January will include professional indemnity and public liability insurance, helpdesk support, employment advice and access to online forums.
The creation of the college was a recommendation of the government’s social work taskforce in January 2010.