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.