Public sector strikes: Social workers urged to galvanise short changed service users

The British Association of Social Workers is urging members to take a more radical approach to social change; for example, by working with service users and refusing to do additional administrative tasks that have been foisted on them due to cuts in back office support.

The TUC Day of Action on November 30 is one important tactic on one important day, but it is not the only tactic.

The Social Workers Union Executive decided in September not to ballot members for strike action but to recommend that members support other colleagues where possible and to carry on with social work tasks on November 30th.

While the Social Workers Union will always reserve the right to withdraw labour, it is important to consider that the impact of social workers going on strike will be felt much more by the powerless and dispossessed people who need social work services than by the government.

Hilton Dawson, Chief Executive of BASW said: “This Government and their allies in local authorities don’t care about the people we serve.

“As social workers we are committed to campaigning hard for our rights, but we can’t let other people suffer in the process. We want to see Social Workers discussing issues of social justice with the very people whose lives will be most affected, and empowering them to protest in different ways, rather than not going in to work.”