Official strikes at internship placement

In the event of an official strike1 at an internship placement site, the Wayne State University School of Social Work allows involved students to decide whether to continue internship placement at the placement or to substitute an alternative educational experience2 as outlined below. The student must notify the Faculty Practicum Liaison and the practicum instructor of the decision.  If, in the independent opinion of the internship placement site or the school, the strike seriously disrupts the internship placement education of the student, the school will initiate a substitute educational plan.  If a student decides to remain in the placement, his/her workload will continue to be assigned on the basis of their educational needs.3

Students who choose to observe the strike will undertake a substitute educational experience which meets their educational requirements and acknowledges the reality of the situation.  The nature of the substitute experience will be determined by the Faculty Practicum Liaison, in consultation with the BSW and MSW coordinators, the director of practicum education, the practicum instructor, and the student. The substitute experience shall require an educational investment reasonably equivalent to the interrupted internship placement experience.4

The Dean's Office will assign responsibility for coordination of alternative educational programs for those students whose regular internship placement program has been disrupted. Plans to staff alternative programs should take into consideration the effect of the strike on faculty workloads.

When the strike has ended, the Faculty Practicum Liaison, in consultation with the student and other key people involved, will determine the nature of the student's continuing internship placement experience.  The criterion for this decision shall be the educational needs of the student.5

During the strike, students will be required to observe full professional responsibility in responding to emergencies affecting their clients.  After the strike is over, regardless of the continuing educational plan, the student will be expected to handle his/her former and existing workload responsibilities in full accordance with professional standards of practice.6

It will be the responsibility of the practicum advisor to maintain communication with all internship placement sites involved in a regular or alternate educational experience for students.

  1. This policy relates only to official strikes.  It does not apply to other work stoppages, picket lines, etc., which may be dealt with individually.
  2. Students may choose whom to consult in making this decision.  Students should notify their faculty practicum liaison, and practicum instructor of their decision so there is no bias in "contracting in" or "contracting out".
  3. This is to ensure that the student is not put in the position of strikebreaking and to maintain educational standards in workload size.
  4. Because of the many possible variables, it is impossible to detail in advance the nature of the substitute internship placement experience.  For example, if there appears to be a reasonable probability of a very brief work stoppage, the substitute experience might take the form of observational visits, seminars, library assignments, etc.  If many internship placement sites are affected by the strike, it may be difficult to arrange substitute internship placement in the direct service area.  Wherever possible, students should have a substitute experience involving direct experience with clients if the strike appears likely to be lengthy.
  5. This again depends on many variables.  For example, if the strike were protracted and the student became heavily involved in a substitute experience, it would make sense for internship placement to be completed in the substitute situation.
  6. This means the student may have a temporarily excessive internship workload because of the need to fulfill dual responsibilities.  The tutorial advisor is expected to assist the student in dealing with this temporary problem.