Standing up for what I believe in

As a Social Worker, our pay is basically really bad. Despite the fact that we work with some of the most vulnerable and desperate people in the community, our work is often not recognised.
Every single day, we talk to people, help them and empower them.
Not only is there inequality in pay within our sector, but also between genders.
All too often we are given the line "you do what you do because you love it".
Mostly, I enjoy the work that I do.
If I didn't, then I wouldn't be a social worker, right?
But that doesn't mean that I don't deserve a fair and equitable pay does it?
The emotional toll that being a social worker takes on you is one of the hidden costs of the sector.
Without proper supervision and self-care, you will never survive more than 5 years as a social worker.

Sometimes I shudder as I remember the things I have seen.
The things I have been told.
The ethical dilemmas I face.
All on a daily basis.
The constant position I am in, whereby I have to judge.
I have to be assessing you body language, your verbal cues.
I have to be looking at your child, mentally plotting them on the graph of normal development.
As I am talking to you, I am generally already working out some solutions to talk over with you.
I am listening carefully, and making sure you know you are being heard.
I will never pretend to know the answers.
And honesty, respect and empathy are the rules in my book.

I do LOVE being a social worker.
But the stress associated with this job should be reason alone to pay accordingly.
It is Social Workers who will be helping this country through it's Mental Illness crisis.
Because we have the knowledge, and the passion to help people take back control of their lives.

So I will step off my soap box for now.
I really enjoyed going and being part of a over 2000 people standing together in solidarity.
Because I believe we deserve better.


  1. I hope you get some equity soon. It sucks that there is still gender inequity in pay.

    I've dealt with a few social workers and a good one is worth way more than their weight in gold.

    Thank you for doing a job that you love. Thank you for helping those in your community.

  2. After 30 years in education, another of those human services, I could not agree with you more. Human services are the most important lifelines for many of the most vulnerable and also probably the field of work which is the most undervalued by society. I applaud your efforts for equity.

  3. Good on you! You and all those like you definitely deserve better pay and then some. It's baffling that you are only paid the bare minimum for your 9-5 work and not at all for the emotional tolls, especially when there are soooo many of us in crisis....fact is, the government are tight- arses and don't have their priorities in order. Pffffttttttttt. Here's hoping you get what you bloody well deserve. Post a petition and i'll sign and repost it with pleasure! Good luck! XL

  4. I applaud you and what you do on a daily basis!!! I am so thankful for all the wonderful people who are in the social worker profession. You deserve so much!

  5. E-Thanks! You make a good point about GOOD social workers. Sadly, there are plenty out there that don't have the passion and shouldn't be in the job. I really hope that I am one of the good ones. I try to be anyway!
    Phil- You are absolutely right. Human services is one of the most undervalued in society. And that goes right across the sector.
    Liv- I will see if I can find an online petition somewhere! The government did support the increase in wage before the election. Suprise Suprise, it did a backflip, even though Fairwork Australia support the wage increase. ARGH!
    Hilary- Thankyou!! I personally strive to do my absolute best for families. And we actually attended the rally without pay for the day (well our workplace paid us for 2 hours only).


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