Breaking News: UNISON issues strike notice to Barnet Council on World Social Work day.

Today, Tuesday 19 March 2024 (also World Social Work Day) UNISON wrote to Barnet Council Chief Executive to inform him that UNISON intends to call its Mental Health social worker members to take part in industrial action. The intended dates for members to take part in discontinuous strike action are:

  • 15 April 2024 to 26 April 2024.
  • 13 May 2024 to 1 June 2024
  • 17 June 2024 to 12 July 2024.

This is unprecedented strike action which will see Barnet UNISON Mental Health social workers and assessment and enablement officers taking nine weeks of strike action over a 13-week period.

John Burgess, Branch Secretary, Barnet UNISON: “This is a pivotal moment in this long running industrial dispute where our members have already taken 27 days of strike action which equates to 405 lost working days for service users in Barnet. Our members are deeply upset at the lack of understanding about the chronic turnover of staff across the three mental health social work teams. As each month goes by another worker leaves (3 have left this year) which is de-stabilising the teams. The Council is failing to follow its own policy and is in complete denial about the implications of further strike action. Talks in ACAS broke down because the Council came with the wrong attitude. Tomorrow UNISON is back in ACAS with Barnet Council. I hope that this time senior management are coming to ACAS with a genuine proposal to resolve this dispute.”


Helen Davies, Branch Chair, Barnet UNISON: “The fact the notification has been sent on World Social Work Day reminds us that we believe the striking social workers are right to say ‘This is what social work looks like!’ as they are reclaiming the tradition of calling out poor and unsafe practice by those with power. No registration body has ever stopped social workers practicing in unsafe conditions. We are backing our members all the way to make the service safe for workers and safe for service users.”