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A British trades union that describes itself as "the trade union for those in social work and only for those in social work".

Its origins are linked to the British Association of Social Workers whose members decided in 1978 to set up a separate organisation, the British Union of Social Workers or BUSW as an independent trade union for social workers, along the same lines as the probation officers union (ref NAPO).In 1981 the BUSW merged with another Leeds based trade union the National Union of Social Workers and the new merged union took on the name 'British Union of Social Work Employees' or BUSWE. In 1983 the Union gained its Certificate of Independence from the Certification Office for Trades Unions, but suffered a major financial crisis in 1990 and narrowly avoided insolvency.

Although engaged in negotiations to do so, the union remains unaffiliated to the TUC, mainly due to opposition from existing TUC affiliated unions who see the BUSWE as a competitor.

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