For a profession that prides itself on fighting voter suppression and lifting the voices of the marginalized and oppressed, National NASW’s undemocratic suppression of SWEC’s Code of Ethics campaign must be stopped and new procedures put in place to guarantee that genuine reform efforts can be heard and voted upon in the future.
For a complete history of how this suppression unfolded, please view our Stifling the Social Worker Equity statement. In brief—our original Code of Ethics reform petition had over 3,300 signatures and initial support from the DA planning committee to be discussed and debated at the November DA. However, the National Office soon undid the entire planning process by stating “Codes of Ethics could only address clients, not members.” As our Code’s “Integrity” principles on member self-care violates that principle, their ruling was substantively false and misleading—but led to the reform’s removal from the DA agenda.
SWEC’s attempt at an appeal revealed the way NASW further suppresses democratic process inside our organization. For example, while NASW has not demonstrably grown, it changed the number of members signatures on an appeal from 500 to 3% of the entire membership (about 3,300). Furthermore, there is no way to email our members as NASW National controls the email lists of members so that: (a) state directors are forbidden to share them with a reform group; and (b) you can only reach a maximum of 400 members per chapter in MyNASW, even when a chapter has thousands of more members.
SWEC members who are delegates from New York, Connecticut and Ohio are planning to introduce a motion at this year’s DA that a task force be set up in January 2024 to review and improve our reform procedures to be more inclusive and democratic. You can read the statement here: DA Request for Reform.
If you are a Delegate, please sign it and join this fight for democratic reform! If you’re a member of NASW, please contact your state Executive Director and ask them to join this important campaign! If you're not a Delegate, we drafted an email that you can send your delegates here: proposed email to Delegates.
The Delegate Assembly is November 15th...
Please join us in this effort to seek REFORM and promote DEMOCRACY within NASW!