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BASW/SWU statement: proposed industrial action Wednesday 8 July

To BASW and SWU Members

The Social Workers Union offers our wholehearted support to the anti-austerity campaign. We were pleased to take part in the march on 20 June. The  action called on Wednesday 8 July can take many forms, so explore with colleagues how you can make your collective views known in your workplace and area. Also please make sure colleagues taking other action know they have your support.

While we are not in a position to formally call for SWU members to take strike action, we would urge our members to support any colleagues who are on strike that day 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 are committed to supporting this campaign by the TUC against the savage impact of the cuts in service and welfare benefits impacting on the people we work with, and ourselves.

Bridget Robb
General Secretary
Social Workers Union