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Advice to BASW/ SWU members re: proposed NIPSA industrial action 16th May

To BASW and SWU Members

We understand that NIPSA has proposed industrial action on 16th May 2014.

We are not in a position to formally endorse this action at present, but would urge our members to support our colleagues in NIPSA in any appropriate way possible. This would include not crossing picket lines (if there are any), undermining any working to rule or any other industrial action proposed.

The legal position on taking strike action is that if you are not a member of a Union, you have the right to refuse to cross a picket line. Equally, if you are a member of a Union not involved in the action, you have the right not to cross a picket line.

If you choose not to cross a picket line, your employer has the right to not pay you for the time you are not at work. They may regard you as being on strike and have the right to impose a break in service accordingly.

If you are not a member of the Union involved, you do not have the legal right to join their picket lines.

If BASW or SWU members have any queries about this, we can be emailed on or telephoned on 0121 622 8413.

We wish our NIPSA colleagues success in their current campaign.

Bridget Robb

Acting General Secretary

Social Workers Union