Health & Social Care
Community is proud to represent our members in the Social Care sector.
Below is a short history of BUSWE since its creation in
Members attending the 1976 British Association of Social Workers
Conference had been lobbied over the idea of forming an independent
trade union for social workers. A majority of members present and
proxy votes being in favour of forming a social work trade union;
The British Union of Social Workers (BUSW) was established.
BUSW merged with another trade union, based in Leeds, called the
National Union of Social Workers in 1981. This led to the
establishment of the present British Union of Social Work
In 1983 BUSWE gained its first Certificate of Independence from
the National Certification Office for Trades Unions. This gave us
equal status with all other recognised trade unions.
In 1985 BUSWE employed their first General Secretary (Stan
Crawshaw - ex GMB Regional Secretary) on a part time basis.
Unfortunately, Stan's health deteriorated towards the end of 1987
and he had to resign his post. We are and remain grateful that he
still maintains contact.
In 1988 we sought affiliation to the Trade Union Congress,
despite the constant blocking tactics of larger unions.
In 1990 BUSWE hit a major crisis. In seeking to recruit new
membership and improve our communication, we had extended ourselves
financially to a situation where we had debts that exceeded our
assets and our bankers blocked any further investment.
By 1994 BUSWE were able to appoint the first Scottish Officer
(part time) to deal with membership matters across the border. We
sought to create a wider network of regional officers but the
budget constraints remained and most services were provided through
a centrally controlled system.
It is a measure of our success that during the year 1995 - 1996
we were registered by the Certification Office as the only trade
union in the United Kingdom who grew in membership without having
During 1999 BUSWE concentrated on seeking to gain affiliation to
In 2007 negotiations were opened with Community and a transfer
of arrangements was agreed.
Community is committed to representing workers in the field of
social care and in the voluntary sector.
The British Union of Social Work Employees (BUSWE) is a section
of Community, making Community the most effective representative of
workers in the social care sector.
Community is uniquely suited to
respond to the everyday needs of these workers, as Community
recognises that workers in this sector are often overworked and
In the Voluntary sector, Community represents workers who are
often required to go beyond the call of duty to serve their cause.
Community seeks to ensure that all voluntary organisations in the
UK meet minimum labour and health and safety requirements.
Community is dedicated to campaigning and organising in these
sectors of the economy.
Members of Community can expect to receive a higher level of
service than from other unions, as Community has a higher ratio of
full-time officers to members than any other union.
This means we will be there for you every step of the
way and will provide advice, support, & representation when you
need it the most!