Skip to main content

SWU ballot members on future strikes

Union launches first ever ballot on possibility of strike action

On Monday, the Social Workers Union (SWU) will be asking its members to vote on whether the union can advise/lead its members to strike in the future.

Called a consultative ballot, this is the first member-wide ballot SWU has initiated, and it will be conducted by an independent e-ballot organisation called UK Engage.

The ballot goes lives on Monday 17th February and will be open to all 12,920 SWU members to participate and cast their vote. SWU members are urged to vote to express their opinion.

As BASW is a professional body, not a trade union, BASW’s role does not extend to balloting members to strike.

History

Since the formation of SWU in 2011 there has not been an opportunity to gain the thoughts of SWU members on the possibility of strike action, called a consultative ballot.

SWU general secretary John McGowan said: “There has always been a mixed view about strike action throughout SWU with some members very clear that ‘striking is a last resort but sometimes the only tool for social workers to protect themselves and avoid being at the complete mercy of employers’.”

John added: “The ability to strike gives more of a balance between worker and employer power.”

However, says John, “there is also the opinion from some that ‘Industrial action, the threat of it, or a hostile or intimidating approach to negotiation, is not only destructive, it sends the wrong message about the social work profession and education to service users, fellow professionals and the public’.

The ballot will be going live on Monday 17th February will be open to all 12,920 SWU members to participate and cast their vote. SWU members are urged to get their opinion known.

“I am therefore keen to get this view from our members and welcome this independent e- ballot,” said John. 

Further information