The past year has seen a number of social work strikes take place in England and Northern Ireland, with some still ongoing.
The strikes in England have mostly involved adults’ and mental health practitioners protesting against staffing issues and pay disparities with their children’s counterparts.
Social workers have spoken out about feeling ignored and undervalued by employers.
During a strike at Barnet Council, approved mental health professional manager Gill Robinson said the strike was the culmination of years of mental health services being “largely forgotten about” and “undervalued”.
At Brighton & Hove City Council, the strike was described as a “last resort”, following a two-year campaign for adults’ social workers to be given a 12.5% supplement – as received by their counterparts in children’s services.
Similar comments from practitioners at the picket line have raised questions over whether social workers feel appreciated and recognised by their employers.
When questioned in a Community Care poll that amassed 420 votes, the majority of practitioners (78%) replied that they didn’t feel valued.
Only 15% said they felt “quite” valued and 6% said “very”.
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