Georgian Social Workers Hold Protests

Social workers all over Georgia have gone on strike and hold protest rallies.

The protesters have several demands, among them improvement of working conditions, allocation of transport for them and increasing the number of the staff.

Social workers started a collective dispute against the Social Service Agency on 8 February. On March 21, they said that the mediation was unsuccessful and the Ministry of Health refused to fulfill their requirements. The same day they submitted a statement to the ministry about the strike, saying from March 25 they refuse to fulfill their duties.

They are also supported by the non-governmental sector.

Minister of Health, David Sergeenko says the strike of social workers will not hinder the state services to the socially vulnerable people. He noted that the ministry offered the protesters a working plan but they made their decision and took to protests.

“The work of the social workers is being done by the employees of the ministry. I would like to assure every beneficiary of the social programs that the services will not be hindered,” he said.

The statement of the minister was criticized by the protesters. They believe the comment about their replacement is “extremely irresponsible.”

“Moreover, it is an insult of social work as a profession. Who has enough competence to work instead of a social worker – lawyer, psychologist or chancellery worker?” Social worker and one of the organizers of the strike, Keti Khutsishvili stressed.

The protesters are not going to resume working until their demands are met.

By Thea Morrison

Photo source: Netgazeti



26 March 2019 10:26