Manchester SWAN is in the very early stages of development. We are a small group of social workers, social work students and people who use social welfare services who are more than a little bit annoyed by the way in which social work is dictated less and less by values of social justice, and more and more by restrictive budgets, increasing managerialism and oppressive, racist policy.We would like to continue the work that SWAN carries out at a national level by challenging changes that effect our City. During the recent 'austerity' measures in March this year, Manchester City Council cut budgets by £109m, even though it admitted that these cuts would be 'too fast, too deep and would damage front line services’. This means that some of the poorest wards in the country have been singled out by the Tories for the harshest cuts. The Council later admitted that the budget was set before the completion of legally required Equality Impact Assessments.We are not very happy about this and think that there is a need now, more than ever for a Manchester SWAN. We plan to hold an initial meeting within the next few weeks in central Manchester and welcome all ideas and contributions. If you are interested in attending this meeting, or would like to be actively involved in the development of Manchester SWAN, then please contact us by clicking here.
Manchester SWAN sent a small delegation of social work students from Uni of Manchester, Man Met and Salford to visit the picket line at Gorton Social Services. We showed solidarity with a small collection and card in support of the social services staff, from UNISON, GMB and UNITE, who had chosen to strike to defend pensions.
The picket line was fantastic, with workers from different social work offices passionately picketing what was being used as a scab centre for the city. Cars tooted their horns in support and we collected details of more people who want to fightback against the cuts and come to future SWAN meetings.
Many of us were also involved in the huge 20,000 demo in Manchester later on in the day, and were inspired by the volume of support by the people clapping and cheering the march, and the carnival-like atmosphere, as workers showed their power and shut down the city!
First Manchester SWAN meeting
The CPS are threatening to make a family in Longsight, Manchester with a young baby and eight year old child homeless. Please sign the petition here: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/savethefamilyhome/
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Social Work Action Network (SWAN)c/o Iain FergusonSchool of Social ScienceUniversity of the West of ScotlandPaisleyPA1 2BE
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