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Local government pension scheme changes: what you need to know


I have just read through the 28-page consultation document on the local government pension scheme (LGPS). My blog post is limited to a page, so in true tabloid fashion I will give you my interpretation and will advise you the reader to read the document and reach your own conclusion. However to the questions will members […]

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Why do social workers always carry the can?


In mental health, it is the social worker who appears to carry the can if problems arise with Mental Health Act assessments. A consultant psychiatrist may be paid up to 125k for being at the top of their profession (figures to be confirmed…!) but certainly all section 12 approved doctors start off being paid double the salary of an approved mental […]

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Social workers gather to hear about high price of UK’s inequality

austerity for the rich

This week I’m in Liverpool for the National Social Work Action Network conference being held at Liverpool’s Hope University. I’m told the conference is sold out at over 300 registered delegates.  Speakers include UNISON’s National Officer for Social Care Helga Pile and the radical geographer professor Danny Dorling.  Professor Dorling’s latest research, which includes a map […]

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Why social workers should defend paid time off for union representatives


I was reminded recently when taking my UNISON seat on the local Social Work Improvement Group of my right (and your right by proxy) to attend this meeting with time off with pay – putting my adoption report writing on hold for a couple of hours.  On the agenda were a range of issues relating to […]

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Two mental health act assessments and back to the office by 6am


I have returned to UNISON activities since my last blog entry. I have been elected as UNISON steward in the workplace and have also secured the position of chair within our branch. This post involves having time to undertake union activities and a core role in chairing branch committee once a month and making sure […]

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Local government pensions: debate is not over just yet


Like many UNISON activists I have been trying to assess over the holiday the joint agreement on principles and timetable for discussions on the future of the local government pension scheme in England and Wales. This week I have been distributing this 10-page document and urging all our members to take time out to read it carefully […]

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A day of strikes: “We were thinking of the children”

At 7am yesterday morning two trade union members turned up to unlock the building at my workplace and the struggle to get all union members out on strike began. We have to ‘think of the children’ they claimed. Dealing with betrayal at dawn is not easy but by nine o’clock we had 10 pickets, the […]

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Why social care should strike on Wednesday

There must be something in the water or something because the head teacher of Vaynor First School, a reportedly loyal conservative supporter, has said that even she is now coming out on strike on Wednesday. For those unlike Mrs Foster-Agg who cannot see though the government smoke screens and, the so-called ‘generous offer, I could […]

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Why care workers can and should strike on 30 November


Demontrators at March’s anti-cuts rally Hello and welcome to my stint on the Social Work Steward blog.  My name is Simon Cardy and I am a UNISON shop steward in children’s services covering an office with a fostering, adoption, aftercare, and one of two looked-after children teams.  I have been a trade unionist for almost […]

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Reject the right wing lies and join the day of protest on November 30


A 78% majority have voted yes for strike action to try to protect pensions from the onslaught of the Con-Dem austerity measures. The 30th November will see UNISON join with sister trade unions on a day of protest that will most likely be the biggest since the General Strike of 1926.   This could be a historic […]

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