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SWU Chair Carys Phillips announces that John McGowan will be standing for re-election

The Social Workers Union is accepting nominations for its General Secretary

SWU Chair Carys Phillips said:

‘As Chair I am pleased and heartened to announce that John McGowan will be standing for re-election as SWU’s General Secretary in the forthcoming process. John has overseen the exponential growth of the Social Workers Union over the past five years and this will culminate this year with the 10th Anniversary Celebrations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen John galvanise his heuristic skills in not only getting us ‘all online’ but advocating for the profession on all fronts to shine a brilliant light on Social Work, in research, in campaigns and the much-appreciated practical advice through the online Working Conditions Webinars. John’s commitment and tenacity is matched by his experience and skills that has seen SWU grow and develop as a dynamic union in partnership with BASW and in collaboration with a number of excellent campaigning organisations. John has been developing a plethora of networks to enhance SWU’s role and influence in the future and rising membership.

The SWU Executive and I are very pleased to be endorsing John’s expression in continuing this vital and important work but importantly, as a member organisation, there is an opportunity for a SWU member to stand in any General Secretary election and if interested you can find details below.'

The General Secretary is the most senior staff position within SWU and the selected candidate will play a key role in taking the union forward in the next step of our development.  The election timetable agreed by the SWU Executive involves an endorsement process and skills test. Candidates can choose whether or not they participate in the endorsement process, but all candidates remain eligible to stand for election whether or not they choose to do so. However, if a candidate chooses not to participate in the endorsement process this will be brought to the attention of the members in the election material sent with ballot papers. Candidates will be asked to select whether they would like to participate in the Endorsement Process on their nomination form.  All candidates must complete a skills test.

The successful candidate will take up office on the 23rd of October 2021 and shall hold office for no more than five years.

Candidates must complete a nomination form and be nominated by at least 20 Members of the Union at least 4 of which shall be from different nations.  The closing date for receipt of General Secretary nominations is 4pm Wednesday 31st May 2021.

The full timetable for elections can be found at:  Call for General Secretary nominations |