Motions for the Social Workers Union 2019 Annual General Meeting

SWU Conference and AGM 2019

Time: Friday, 27 September 2019 – 9:00am to 4:00pm

Location: The Mechanics Centre, 103 Princess Street, Manchester, M1 6DD, United Kingdom

Cost: FREE to BASW/SWU Members | Non members £10 | Students, unemployed, retired £5

Please note the SWU AGM is members only.

Conference registration and refreshments from 9.30am, Lunch and refreshments provided.

Confirmed Speakers

Emma Lewell Buck MP

As a Labour politician and former social worker, Emma is committed to building a society that works for the many, not the few. This belief fuels her work, particularly around food insecurity, something she believes is a sad indictment on the Conservative Government.

Colum Conway – Chief Executive, Social Work England

Colum became Chief Executive of Social Work England in September 2018. He is a registered social worker and previously led the professional regulator for social work and social care in Northern Ireland. Colum has worked in statutory family and child care services, early years policy and family systems support services.

Dr Neil Thompson

Dr Neil Thompson is an author and independent online tutor whose work is highly acclaimed across the people professions. He has held full or honorary professorships at four UK universities. Neil will be facilitating a conference discussion in his role as a SWU Ambassador.

Prof Keith Gidart

Keith is Professor of Labour and Social History at the University of Wolverhampton. He has appeared on television documentaries for the BBC. Specialising in working-class history, politics and culture from the late-Victorian period through to the 1980s – Keith will be giving an overview of trade union history and the importance of unions.

Banner Theatre Company – Live Theatre Show

‘Free for All’

A new hard-hitting, entertaining and inspirational musical show from Banner Theatre – exposing the privatisers making big profits from our NHS. This show is a must-see for all health workers, trade unionists, social workers, health campaigners, students.

Ordinary Motions

These Motions require a 51% majority to be passed.

Motion 1

This AGM supports the work being done to take the results of the research project into working conditions for Social Workers, conducted by Dr. Jermaine Ravalier, to MPs, members of the House of Lords, Councillors, other interested parties and also to discussing it on radio and social media.

Motion 2

This Union welcomes the recent report of the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights and urges the Executive to press for action on all the recommendations listed in para 96 of that report.

The United Kingdom Government should:

  1. Introduce a single, multidimensional measure of poverty;
  2. Systematically measure food security;
  3. Request the National Audit Office to assess the cumulative social impact of tax and spending decisions since 2010, especially on vulnerable groups, with a view to identifying what would be required to restore an effective social safety net;
  4. Reverse particularly regressive measures such as the benefit freeze, the two-child limit, the benefit cap and the reduction of the Housing Benefit, including for under occupied social rented housing;
  5. Restore local government funding needed to provide critical social protection and tackle poverty at the community level, and take varying needs of communities and differing tax bases into account in the ongoing Fair Funding Review;
  6. Initiate an independent review of the efficacy of changes to welfare conditionality and sanctions introduced since 2012 by the Department of Work and Pensions;
  7. Train Department staff to use more constructive and less punitive approaches to encouraging compliance;
  8. Eliminate the five-week delay in receiving initial UC benefits;
  9. Ensure that the benefit truly works for individuals, including by facilitating alternative payment arrangements and reviewing the monthly assessment practices;
  10. Review and remedy the systematic disadvantage inflicted by current policies on women, as well as on children, persons with disabilities, older persons and ethnic minorities;
  11. Re-evaluate privatization policies to ensure that the approach adopted achieves the best outcomes for the citizenry rather than for the corporate sector: transport, especially in rural areas, should be considered an essential service and the Government should ensure that all ares are adequately and affordably served.

Motion 3: Member ’Union Contacts’ Motion

David Callow – Proposer and supported by 10 members.

This AGM acknowledges the history, strengths and traditions of the Trade Union movement and commits to supporting, encouraging and empowering our members, and our workplace and university-based Union Contacts, to have a strong voice and an active presence in the Trade Union world.

Motion 4: Member Motion

Guy Shennan – Proposer and supported by 10 members.

This AGM

  1. notes that 500-700 Palestinian children, some as young as 12, are detained each year by the Israeli military, and that Israel is the only country in the world that automatically prosecutes children in military courts
  2. deplores the continuing ill-treatment of Palestinian children by Israeli military forces, which has been well-documented, including by the UNICEF report ‘Children in Israeli Military Detention’ which described the ill-treatment as “widespread, systematic, and institutionalised throughout the process”; the report of a delegation of British lawyers: ‘Children in Military Custody’; and by the ongoing work of Military Court Watch and Defence for Children International
  3. notes further that, being under military occupation, the Palestinians are not able to protect their children from these abuses, and thus need international support; and that the British have a particular responsibility arising from the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the British rule in Palestine from 1917 to 1948

This AGM therefore calls on the Social Workers Union to

  • Support the Child Prisoners Campaign organised by the Palestine-UK Social Work Network
  • Encourage its members to sign the campaign petition
  • Support members to join organised visits to Palestine, to raise awareness of the situation there