SWU and BASW – Strength in Partnership

Welcome to Day 4 of SWU's 10th Anniversary Celebration! Be sure to check back each day between June 12-21 for new videos and blogs that showcase our history and celebrate our future. 

Today BASW Chair Gerry Nosowska and BASW Chief Executive Ruth Allen congratulate SWU on turning 10, reflect on the shared history of our two organisations, and share their pride on how together we are putting our social work values into action.

BASW Chair Gerry Nosowska wishes SWU a happy 10th birthday and looks forward to many more decades of BASW and SWU working in partnership to put our social work values into action.

BASW Chair Gerry Nosowska writes:

Happy 10th birthday Social Workers Union! It is wonderful to see you growing in membership and voice. And thank you for the opportunity to say why SWU matters to BASW. We are proud of our partnership with you!

Social work is the best job in the world. It is also difficult and complex. So we need organisations that ‘get’ social work to back us up.

Social workers need the support, professional advocacy and development opportunities that come from BASW, the professional association. We also need employment representation and advocacy from a trade union that is really rooted in the reality of social work practice. That is what SWU uniquely offers.

Members are reassured by having the combined safety net of BASW and SWU, empowered by the guidance and help that is available, and receive vital protection when facing difficulties at work or with regulators.

BASW benefits the whole profession by speaking up for and supporting social work. And SWU benefits every social worker by advocating for good employment.

We are proud of our Advice and Representation Service that provides professional advice for BASW and through our Co-operation Agreement with SWU, also offers trade union advice and representation. Its officers are all experienced social workers who have been practitioners and managers; they know the working contexts of social workers and the challenges they can face.

When I read the feedback and compliments to the Advice and Representation team, it is clear how appreciated it is that they have that intimate understanding of social work.

We are proud of our joint campaigning. Together, BASW and SWU have huge influence and impact on issues that affect social workers’ ability to work well. We have a shared voice and also can make different points because of our different roles.

Our identity as social workers includes being prepared to challenge, looking out for our colleagues, and speaking up for the people who need social support. Thank you SWU for partnering with BASW to put our values into action.

BASW Chief Executive Dr Ruth Allen congratulates SWU on turning 10 and pledges that BASW and SWU will continue to make a world of difference for social workers.

BASW Chief Executive Dr Ruth Allen writes:

Congratulations SWU on reaching your 10th birthday at a time of strong growth in membership, campaigning, and a deepening impact on our sector. Social workers need you – and need our partnership – as much as ever.

Working together, BASW and SWU can provide vital ‘wrap around’ support, protection, and inspiration for social workers at all stages of their career.

It was my pleasure to work with the SWU Executives and General Secretary to agree a Co-operation Agreement between our organisations in 2018 and we have refreshed that together this year, showing our ongoing commitment to providing the best for social workers together. The Agreement provides the practical basis for how we amplify the value of each of our organisations by complementing each other. Key to our joint working is commitment to the Code of Ethics for social workers. 

This includes our joint campaigns where we take a common stand on issues, working together with partner organisations and reaching out to politicians on common causes.

This includes fundamental campaigns for a better society such as our joint Anti-Poverty Action Group campaigning which is co-produced with individuals with lived experience of social work and their representative organisations. It also included our ‘Boot Out Austerity’ 100 mile walk to raise awareness of the impact of austerity and poverty in 2018.

It also includes our joint work to improve social worker working conditions. Since 2017 we have worked together on this, using primary research to inform our campaigning, guidance documents and a toolkit for employers and stakeholders, webinars, and learning resources about how we can all play a part in creating better conditions for better practice and better support for people who need social work.

Well done SWU! Here’s to many more years of growth and success in the very important work you do.