Invitation to House of Commons debate on why social workers are voting to strike
Why are Barnet Council Mental Health social workers taking strike action?
Mental Health Social Workers in Barnet have taken 12 days of strike action and another 14 days are planned in the coming months. But Barnet isn’t the only local authority in which social workers are saying enough is enough. Earlier this year South Gloucestershire social workers became the first branch to successfully ballot for strike action with Barnet, Brighton, Swindon and Leeds social workers all having declared strike action in the following months. Similar issues are being raised by strikers across the country including high caseloads, under-staffing, unsafe services, and unfair pay policies.
13 years of austerity have resulted in huge cuts to local authority statutory services while the impact of covid has contributed to increases in referrals to social care that are forecast to continue for years to come. In such an environment and with no clear political priority being placed on fixing social care, this panel discussion considers topics like the role of social workers in championing better public services and fair pay for workers.
The session will be held on 5th December 2023 at 6.30pm in Committee Room 17, House of Commons.
The event is free, and all are welcome but please book your place by emailing email@example.com
Co- Chairs: John McDonnell MP and Kerie Anne
- Kristiana Heapy
- Dan Smart
- Corinna Edwards-Colledge
- Nana Yabbey-Hagan.
Kerie Anne, Chair of UNISON National Social Care Forum, Branch Secretary, Tower Hamlets UNISON and Families social worker.
Corinna Edwards-Colledge is joint branch secretary of Brighton and Hove UNISON and has worked in local government for over 20 years. She is also a campaigner and a writer, and is currently leading adult social workers in Brighton on their very first strike action over pay parity.
Kristiana Heapy Kristiana is the Unison team rep in Barnet’s Mental Health Social Work South Team which is currently undertaking strike action. Kristiana qualified as a social worker in 2022, prior to that she worked in the voluntary sector in a number of public policy, campaigning and service delivery roles. In her spare time Kristiana has held voluntary positions for charities focused on access to green space, equality and supporting people experiencing mental ill-health..
Dan Smart is Branch secretary, UNISON South Gloucestershire and an Adulst social worker.
Nana Yabbey-Hagan is a Qualified Social Worker for Children and Families of 10 years. Nana is currently a Team Manager for a Looked After Childrens Team, previously a Team Manager for a frontline Children Protection Team. In addition, Nana is a Practice Educator for Bachelor’s, Masters, Step Up Students/ASYE assessor for Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSW), University Lecturer and Co-Host of the Social Worker and The Mentor Podcast.
***Please note Barnet UNISON Mental Health Social Workers are taking a whole week of strike action starting Monday 4 December to Friday 8 December.
You are welcome to join our Festive Barnet UNISON Picket line details of location are below.
- Open letter to Executive Director of Adult Social Care – Mental Health social work dispute.
- Open letter to Director of Adult Social Care – Mental Health social work dispute.
- Open letter to Cllr Barry Rawlings Leader of Barnet Council