Social Workers in Derrya are taking part in a one day strike today in response to what their Union officials have described as a “unacceptable workload”.
The 24 hour action was held by social workers and social work assistants in the Primary Care and Older People (PCOP) directorate.
Alan Law, North West Regional Official from NIPSA, said: “NIPSA has been in negotiations with management for over three years concerning excessive caseloads within the Primary Care and Older People’s directorate.
“Our members believe that they must take industrial action to highlight their concerns that excessive caseloads will impact on the quality of the social work service they deliver to this vulnerable client group.”
Mr Law said that while the incoming Transforming Your Care policies were “part of the problem” - this issue had been growing for a number of years.
“The system is in crisis,” he said. “No one seems to want to deal with the problem. What happens is that holes in service provision are plugged by agency staff - who move on - or simply not filled at all.
“I have just been with a team in Limavady who have been without a manager for six months.
“When things go wrong the first thing people do is ask how the system can have failed those vulnerable people - we are trying to avoid that by asking for the problems to be addressed now.”
A spokesperson from the Trust said: “The Western Trust is working closely with local union representatives to minimise any disruption to services during planned strike action.”