asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what assessment he has made of the effects of the withdrawal of labour by social workers in a number of local authority areas; and if he will make a statement.
In the 14 authorities with strikes by field social workers there has been a serious and damaging disruption of services affecting children, old people, the disabled and other vulnerable groups. I have repeatedly urged the local authority employers and the social workers to solve the dispute through the proper negotiating channels. I was glad that on Friday NALGO approved proposals for a new grading framework for field social workers. I hope this will lead to a quick end to this damaging and unnecessary action.