BACP asks for resolutions and motions for their AGM each year. A motion is a way for members to bring forward views on a matter. It needs less support than a resolution to be passed. If it’s passed by members, the Board will decide what action to take. The Board is not legally bound to implement a motion. Motions need at least 0.1% support from the membership to be on the ballot paper for a members vote at the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM).
The #TherapistsConnect team have interviewed the proposers of Motion 6 about their motivations for proposing their resolution for the 2020 AGM. Their motion is as follows: Motion 6: We are asking the BACP to repeat the 2014 members employment research survey so we can determine if members employment and/or earnings have changed for better or worse in the last six years.
To support this motion you need to be a BACP member and vote before 16th October. Please check your emails for your link to vote or request BACP to resend.
What is your motion/resolution?
Motion 6 - We are asking the BACP to repeat the 2014 members employment research survey so we can determine if members employment and/or earnings have changed for better or worse in the last six years.
Who are the proposers?
Maria is the Founder of Counsellors Together UK. She oversees the daily running of the organisation and is the lead on our school’s based counselling campaign. She is also the main contact for the CTUK Members Club and National Counsellors’ Day.
About Maria – Maria is an experienced counsellor, psychotherapist and supervisor with over 22 years of experience working in both the private and public sectors (NHS & Education). She has managed young people’s counselling services and set up and delivered successful school-based counselling services, working alongside charities and statutory organisations. She has experience in business development and marketing for counselling organisations and individual therapists in private practice. Maria is the Founder of Counsellors Together UK and National Counsellors’ Day.
You can find out more about Maria at www.mariaalbertsen.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/MariaAlbertsen _
What is your motion trying to achieve?
It has been 6 years since BACP carried out the 2014 members employment survey. The results of the survey are quite shocking and make for a harrowing read (see below). When we highlighted the findings of this survey to our CTUK members we found that not many members were aware of the actual results and we’re just as shocked as we were. We then carried out our own survey in 2019 which told us that 22% of our own members were needing to use a food bank/support from families to feed themselves and their own small families. In raising this motion we hope to make people aware of the financial difficulty many counsellors face and to be able to determine if the landscape is changing for better or worse. We feel having this knowledge would give us a basis from where we can decide, collectively, what the next steps should be to help support as many members as we can and make changes where needed.
What motivated you to submit this to BACP?
When we received the results for our own members survey we knew that we needed to look at the bigger picture. The results of our own survey mirrored those of BACPs employment survey, and these were taken 6 years apart. Obviously our reach is far smaller than BACP and we felt that we needed BACP to repeat the survey to give a more clear picture of the financial struggles counsellors are facing and difficulties in securing paid work.
We are particularly interested in the following:
In 2014 the BACP members survey showed us that:
• The typical counsellor works 12–13 hours a week.
• The typical counsellor earns less than £10,000 a year.
• The average annual income of members was £11,700.
• Just nine per cent of BACP members earn more than £30,000 a year.
• 52% said counselling was their main source of work.
• 41% currently work in another occupation (29% full-time and 71% part- time).
• 25% of practicing BACP members were unpaid for their main role.
• 72% of BACP members said it was difficult to find employment in the current market.
• Only 37% of counsellors who were working unpaid said they were satisfied with their professional life, compared with 75% of those earning more than £30,000 a year.
• Fifty-three per cent said they were likely to look for other employment in the future, and 58% said there were ‘no opportunities’ open to them for paid employment in counselling.
Reference – https://www.bacp.co.uk/bacp-journals/therapy- today/2017/march-2017/is-counselling-womens-work/
As you can see, the results are quite shocking. We know that BACP has been working hard to try and improve the working landscape for all their members, but we feel that a repeat of the survey is needed to determine exactly how successful this work has been.
What feedback have you had from your members around this motion?
Our members at CTUK are very keen to see if there has been any positive changes for therapists in terms of income and financial stability in the last 6 years. Obviously there were some depressing results from our own survey, and members are keen to find out what the bigger picture looks like too. They are supportive of this motion.
How can members support you with this motion?
Ideally we’d like as many BACP members to vote to support this motion as possible. However, we have also published an open letter to the BACP Chair asking for this survey to be repeated. We didn’t receive a response from the Chair directly, but a copy and paste response from another member of staff which was wholly inadequate, hence submitting this motion and putting the request formally on record. Members can also join CTUK and sign up to our Newsletter at www.ukcounsellors.co.uk to keep up to date with and support our campaign work.
We’d love more people to come and join us at CTUK. For those who don’t know, CTUK is the UK’s largest counsellors campaign group with over 7,000 members, and our main aim is to work together to reduce the prevalence and culture of unpaid work within our profession. We’d love to see you there.