Employers call for super social workers in Scotland

‘Super social workers’ who are paid an enhanced salary to work
on the frontline delivering a service to the public, is the way of
the future according to employers’ organisation the
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

Kingsley Thomas, Cosla’s social work spokesperson, told
the organisation’s annual conference, that too often social
work services are under-valued in the work they do in protecting
the most vulnerable members of society. In the same week, social
work leaders in Scotland acknowledged that staff morale was low and
recruitment was difficult.

Thomas said: “The gap in pay between social work and similar
professions is wider than ever. Action is needed now to turn the
tide, and ensure that social workers are also properly valued,
trained and financially rewarded for the serious responsibilities
they carry.”

Thomas was supported by Carole Wilkinson, vice president of the
Association of Directors of Social Work, who said: “It is some time
since this group of staff was looked at and the fact that teachers
– a similar front-line profession – have been looked at
means it is a legitimate suggestion.”

The recent review of conditions of teachers will result in a 23
per cent increase over two-and-a-half years with 10 per cent being
paid by next month. An un-promoted teacher will now earn
£28,700 compared to a qualified social worker starting at
£17,300 rising to a maximum of £22,000.

A spokesperson for the Scottish executive said: “The executive
is compiling statistics on social work vacancies, and a social work
services inspectorate report is due to report on the issue.”




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