americaNational Association of Social Workers National ( has set off a storm of controversy by deciding to implement a Modernization and Revitalization Plan. The plan is currently opposed by ten NASW State Chapters and has resulted in a lawsuit against National NASW brought by an array of plaintiffs.

The ten objecting NASW state chapters are those of New York City, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Indiana, Kansas, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Mississippi. These chapters, which voted No Confidence in the NASW plan, represent many tens of thousands of the NASW’s overall membership. They have formed a coalition called Concerned Members United, which supports a website to educate NASW members and attract supporters.

Among other charges, the state chapters allege that the NASW “national board voted to change our articles of incorporation to grant (itself sole) authority over all decisions for our association” (website).

Janlee Wong, longtime head of the California NASW state chapter, recently published a summary piece in which he wrote that “the Opponents have cited a number of reasons for their opposition ranging from an assault on the democratic processes of the Association to the cost of Modernization. There are real objections to centralizing accounting and audit functions in the National Office as well as placing all NASW employees (chapter and national) under one Human Resources Administration.”

The lawsuit is being heard in the New York Commercial and Corporate Governance Court.

Photo credit. Piece by Robert Booth.



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