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Social Workers Union re-elects General Secretary

John McGowan will serve a second term as general secretary, the most senior staff position within SWU

SWU is delighted to announce that John McGowan will serve a second term as general secretary of the Social Workers Union (SWU) after being re-elected unopposed. 

The general secretary is the most senior staff position within SWU and plays a key role in taking the union forward into the next step of our exciting development.

John McGowan has been re-elected as General Secretary of SWU

McGowan was first elected as general secretary in 2016 with a continuing career in social work which has included 23 years as a Registered Social Worker and 18 years as a p/t Lecturer with the Open University.

Under trade union law, the process of electing the general secretary must take place at least every five years and this has now been completed without challenge from any other candidate. McGowan will therefore serve a further term of five years beyond September 2021.

SWU Honorary President James Birchall said: “I am absolutely delighted that John McGowan has been re-elected as General Secretary of SWU, the Social Workers Union, for the next five years. John was first elected General Secretary of SWU in 2016. Since then SWU has developed enormously. John has raised the profile of SWU beyond recognition. Membership has increased, staff have been appointed, Trade Union contacts have been trained. His leadership has moved SWU forward at a rapid pace. I look forward to this continuing for the next 5 years now that he remains as General Secretary of the Social Workers Union.”

SWU Chair Carys Phillips, commenting on the reappointment, highlighted: “The re-appointment of John McGowan for a further 5-year term of office as SWU’s General Secretary is excellent news for SWU.  John’s commitment and enthusiasm has seen the Union grow exponentially over the past 5 years. John’s knowledge and skills continuing in this role offers stability and an opportunity for consolidation, and I dare say further growth! Social Workers are seeing that SWU is much needed; collaboration post pandemic will be vital as the world evolves. I would like to personally thank John for the hard work and inspiration that he brings to the SWU Executive to enable this union to thrive.”

McGowan said: "It is both an honour and a deep responsibility to be re-elected as general secretary at a time when our members are facing unprecedented challenges. SWU Membership grows every week, and we are gaining new activists every month.  I am proud that our union is the only specialist union for social workers and, importantly, run by social workers for social workers."

SWU is celebrating its 10th anniversary this June