The Association for the Advancement of Social Work
Founded by the Union of Social Workers
The social workers draw their ability, understanding and professional skills from four sources:
- From personal intuition and from the need to relate to others and to assist them.
- From learning, training and from the experience acquired over years.
- From a system of dozens of laws and regulations which are connected to the broad activities of the profession of social work.
- Above all, from the rules of the Code of Ethics as a pillar of fire lighting the way of social workers, which lead the moral way of the workers and direct them for the good that man shall cling to and for the bad from which he should keep a distance.
The code of professional ethics is one of the cornerstones of each profession and especially a profession whose entire purpose is in dealing with people. The rules of ethics that seemingly intend to protect and empower the profession’s clients actually protect the social worker, instruct him in professional action, and direct him in avoiding stumbling blocks and mistakes at the many crossroads at which he must make decisions – not only between good and bad, but also between good and better and between bad and worse.
The rules of the Code of Ethics of social workers were first compiled in the 70’s as part of establishing employment in social work as a profession that stands by itself. The rules were updated in the 90’s and adjustments were made to the changing reality until the date of enacting the Social Workers Act in 1996. Upon enactment of the law the status of some of the ethics rules that were anchored in the law were changed (Ethics Regulations 1999). The regulations include existing ethics rules together with rules that were added to the law. The statutory status granted to the ethics rules also rendered their observance obligatory according to the law with everything that the law entails.
Ethics do not remain the same. The changes that occur in our society and their implications on our profession require appropriate adjustments in the ethics rules. Therefore the union’s ethics committee and the law and ethics committee constantly work diligently in order to make the necessary changes and additions to the ethics code, changes that shall manifest themselves after they have been examined and approved in the years to come.
We hope that this updated brochure will assist in dealing with the professional dilemmas that arise.
Nahum Michaeli, S.W. Itzik Perry, S.W. Yitzhak Rosner, S.W
Chairman of the Ethics Chairman of the Chairman of the
Committee Union of Social Social Workers Act Workers Committee
The Code of Professional Ethics of the Social Workers
Social work directs its professional activities towards helping the individual and society to achieve conditions in which man’s basic needs are fulfilled, and independence, equality and freedom from unnecessary coercion prevail. Social work aspires to develop the personal responsibility of the individual in conducting his life, and his partnership in resolving the important decisions which concern him.
The social worker acts to expand the range of possibilities of the client.
He must be responsive to each client in an accepting, respectful and non-discriminating fashion.
Furthermore, he must be committed to constant professional development, to put his professional obligations before his personal interests and to cooperate with others in serving the client.
The social worker bears personal responsibility towards the client, the employer and the profession.
The social worker maintains a reciprocal relationship with clients, colleagues and employers.
Furthermore his occupation has unique meaning and obligations towards society in general and the profession of social work.
On all of these levels the social worker must be guided by both his professional knowledge and by a system of values and commands embodied in the Code of Ethics.
The code and its rules are intended to direct his action in light of the aims of social work and its values. The social worker must be knowledgeable in them and he must adhere to them, and he must refer to them when using his discretion in situations that require examination of the weights of values of different alternatives.
The code shall constitute an important component in the education of social workers, and shall provide standards according to which their professional conduct can be assessed and judged.
A. Responsibility Towards the Clients
In serving the client, the social worker is committed to maximum dedication and professionalism: to action without conflict of interests and personal bias, and free from discrimination while ensuring the client privacy and confidentiality on the one hand and access to records on the other.
The social worker must bring before his clients all of the information with respect to the services at their disposal and must take their wishes and requests into account as much as possible.
They must provide assistance such that the client’s wishes and decisions shall be accepted with understanding and discretion.
The social worker must prevent conflicts of interests as much as possible. He must appropriately cease providing service when it is necessary due to professional considerations. He must consult and cooperate with his colleagues as long as it is beneficial to the client.
When the service is provided within the social worker’s private work, he must determine a reasonable and considerate fee.
B. Conduct by Virtue of Social Responsibility
The social worker is committed to act to advance the welfare of society so as to reduce situations of discrimination based on innate or developmental data as much as possible, and opportunities, access to resources and to services, and the ability of choice of all of the details shall be expanded , particularly (for) the weak and the deprived among them.
He must support policies that are intended to achieve these aims, and encourage in any way the cooperation of the public and their involvement in designing and implementing these policies.
The social worker must do everything possible to ascertain that his work is led by clean professional considerations, and to constantly improve the tools he uses for the benefit of his clients.
He shall take upon himself professional missions that suit his ability and shall present them in an exacting manner. He must expose or involve clients to professional research subject to strict terms of willful consent and maximum protection of the rights of the participants.
In his personal behavior the social worker is obligated to obey the law and moral norms and he must be aware of situations in which his behavior affects the fulfillment of his professional duties.
He must differentiate between his actions as a private person and his actions as a professional.
C. Conduct Towards Colleagues
The social worker shall relate to his colleagues, both directly and in the context of providing service to a colleague’s clients, with maximum respect and consideration. He shall consult with colleagues, cooperate with them, and shall honor their privacy and abstain from exploiting circumstances to harm their interests. As an employer he must ascertain the existence of appropriate conditions for their professional activities, and make fair and frank assessments of their functioning.
D. Relationships with Employers
The social worker shall conduct himself in his work with integrity and loyalty. He shall work and guide only in a place that operates according to the Rules of Professional Ethics, and shall act to change and warn when this is not so. He must act to improve the work methods of the organization, with respect and consideration of the clients.
E. Responsibility Towards the Profession
The social worker shall act to promote the profession and its image, and shall invest his time and professional ability in this aim. He shall support any policy towards this aim.
He shall take care to present only accurate information regarding the profession and those that engage in it and shall act to prevent work that is not permitted or which is unauthorized in the profession, and take action against the unethical behavior of colleagues.
Code of Ethics
The profession of social work is guided by a set of values which defines and guides the responsibility of one that engages in it. The aim of the Code of Ethics is to draft principles of action which are derived from these values, in a manner that shall assist the social worker to examine situations and make professional decisions, and to constitute a supervision tool through which the decisions and actions of the social worker can be judged in light of the aims and values of the profession. The Code of Ethics shall contribute to the education of the social workers: it shall direct their professional work, it shall define what is required of them towards clients, colleagues, employers, the profession and society, and it shall determine standards according to which their behavior can be assessed and judged.
The professional activity is rife with continuous situations of conflict, and the need may arise to choose between different values. Therefore the professional responsibility of the social worker also includes sensitivity to and awareness of the weight of the values on their professional decisions. He must be knowledgeable in the Rules of Professional Ethics, and he must develop and improve tools and personal characteristics of examining issues and making decisions according to these rules.
In parallel, there is a professional obligation to distribute and deepen knowledge in this area through the educational and organizational institutions of social work. We must take all appropriate methods to cause the devotion of the social workers to their professional behavior, guided according to principles and guidelines of the Code of Ethics.
B. The Values of the Profession
Social work aspires to realize and promote as much as possible the following conditions of human existence:
a) Independence and responsibility of the person in conducting his life and in choosing the conditions of his existence.
b) Equal opportunities for the conduct of a life free from the lack of basic needs, which enable and promote positive reciprocation between the person and his fellow and his society.
c) Lack of discrimination between people on the basis of innate or developmental characteristics, and granting equal rights and assistance to every person.
d) A society organized and functioning according to democratic principles.
e) The participation of the individual in processes and decisions that concern his welfare and the conditions of his personal life and giving the possibility to the individual to influence them.
f) The existence of conditions of privacy for every person.
g) The existence of the possibility of self choice of the individual in all areas of his life, including receiving assistance from society and from professionals, and maximum reduction of every component of coercion in his reciprocal relations with his surroundings.
C. Guiding Principles
The Code of Ethics of the profession of social work is intended to express these principles in the social worker’s practice with respect to his connections with his clients, colleagues, employers, profession and society in general.
The social worker is obligated to act to create a change in the individual and in society in the spirit of these values and to base his professional activities on them.
The following guiding principles of professional work are derived from this:
1. Honoring the client and the aspiration to ensure his independence, rights and responsibilities.
2. Prevention of discrimination, and vigorous activities to annihilate it, in all professional aspects of social work.
3. Giving assistance to private clients, families, groups, communities and associations in expanding their range of opportunities and their abilities to make decisions.
4. Making every effort not to refuse a client and not to be apathetic to his suffering, even in situations where there is a need to take means of protection or to protect others from him, or in situation which lacks the ability to solve his problems or to provide for his needs.
5. The aspiration to give preference to professional responsibility over personal interest.
6. Commitment to constant personal professional development.
7. Personal accountability towards the client, the employer and the profession with respect to all professional work.
8. Commitment to cooperate with others in service of the client.
The Social Worker’s Responsibility towards Clients
A. The main responsibility of the social worker is to his clients.
1. He must serve his clients with devotion, loyalty, determination and by maximizing implementation of his professional skills and abilities.
2. He must abstain from exploiting connections with clients for his own personal gain.
3. He must not ignore any manifestation of discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual preference, family status, political outlook, mental or physical disability or any other discrimination, and he must not cooperate with such discrimination.
4. The social worker shall not withhold service from patients sick with contagious diseases.
5. He must consider the requests and wishes of the client in all of his professional activities.
6. The social worker must not have sexual relations with his clients and members of their families, whatever the circumstances may be.
7. He must abstain from treating clients that are members of his family.
8. He must provide his clients with appropriate, accurate and full information regarding the extent, character and nature of the services available to them, while emphasizing the risks and undertakings involved in the service.
9. He must consult with professionals as long as such consulting benefits the client.
10. He must terminate the service to clients and his professional alliances with them, when these services and alliances are not required anymore, or when they do not serve the needs of the client, and in any event he must act according to professional principles and considerations.
11. He must abstain from involvement in any action that shall harm the civil or legal rights of the clients.
12. He must aspire to maximum participation of the clients in the process of involvement, in order to improve their status, ability, strength and independence.
13. When he is required to act in the name of a non-competent or helpless client, the social worker must ensure the interests and rights of this client.
B. The Social Worker shall respect the clients’ privacy and shall keep any information that he receives during his professional service confidential
1. He must inform his clients of the confidentiality restrictions in a given situation, of the aims for which the information is required, and of how it will be used.
2. The social worker shall deliver information regarding his clients to others only when the law or professional circumstances shall require it, and with the knowledge of the clients.
3. He must allow his clients supervised access to formal records of professional work concerning them.
4. When access to records is allowed, the social worker must ensure maintenance of confidentiality of the other factors included in these records or of information of any other person.
5. He must obtain the clients’ consent to their exposure to eavesdropping, recording, photographing or observation, and to ascertain that the clients understand the nature of their consent.
C. The Social Worker employed in Public Service shall not receive clients for private treatment from the same geographical area served by the service in which he is employed.
D. In determining fees, the social worker shall make sure that his fees are fair, reasonable and considerate and are in line with the service that shall be provided.
1. He must make the client aware of the expected costs as a result of the association.
2. A social worker shall not receive anything in consideration for his professional service except for his salary or fee.
3. A social worker shall not receive benefits for referring clients to the service of others.
The Social Worker’s Behavior by Virtue of Social Responsibilities
A. The Social Worker must act to promote the welfare of society.
1. He must act in order to prevent and cancel discrimination against any person or group based on race, color, gender, sexual preference, age, religion, national origin, family status, political outlook, mental or physical disability, personal status or any other discrimination.
2. He must act in order to ensure that every person has access to resources, services and opportunities necessary to him.
3. He must act in order to expand choices and opportunities of all people, while paying special attention to weak and deprived groups or people.
4. He must act to promote conditions which encourage respect towards the cultures of which the Israeli society is composed.
5. He must make efforts to prefer his obligation to the public during emergencies, over his concern for himself and his family.
6. He must support policies and legislation intended to improve social conditions and promote social justice.
7. He must encourage the participation of the public, both his clients and their family members and civilians in general, in designing the policies of the social institutions, in implementing their policies in actual fact, and in actions whose aims are to change what needs to be changed in these policies.
B. The aim of the profession of social work is to provide service, and the social worker must act in this spirit.
1. The social worker is responsible for the professional work which he performs or in which he participates.
2. Within his duties he must provide humane and undiscriminating service, and he must warn when this principle is not maintained.
3. He must be aware of situations in which influences and pressures might harm the professional discretion necessary to execute his duties.
4. He must not exploit professional contacts for his personal benefit.
C. The social worker shall be responsible for the performance of his professional activities as well as possible, and for this purpose he shall work diligently on his continuous development as a professional.
1. The social worker shall not take responsibility for tasks where he does not have the knowledge and abilities required to execute them.
2. He must deliver reliable and accurate information on his professional qualifications, and shall avoid giving information that might mislead.
D. The social worker engaged in research, in writing and in professional- scientific publications shall be guided by the accepted rules of academic research.
1. He must carefully examine the possible implications of his research on human beings.
2. He must ensure that the participants in the research have willingly given their informed consent to participation, without fear that they shall be deprived or punished should they refuse to participate. He must also ensure appropriate consideration of the privacy of the participant and his honor.
3. He must protect the participants from inconvenience, distress, harm, risk or bodily or emotional deprivations which might be caused without permission.
4. A social worker engaged in assessment and in research shall discuss the subjects of his research only for professional purposes and only with the people connected directly with these purposes.
5. He must keep the information obtained regarding the participants in the research confidential.
6. A social worker shall credit to himself only the actions that he did with respect to research, professional writing, the development of treatment and training, and shall ensure that others are credited for their contribution to these activities.
E. The social worker shall pay heed to proper standards in his personal behavior.
1. He must be aware of situations in which his private behavior harms the fulfillment of his professional duties or the values of the profession and its image.
2. A social worker shall not take part in acts which are unbecoming, fraudulent and misleading.
3. He must clearly differentiate between his actions and declarations as a private person and between his actions and declarations by virtue of his professional duties and he must clarify this difference at every chance.
The Responsibility of the Social Worker Towards Colleagues
A. The social worker shall treat his colleagues* with respect, courtesy, fairness and in good faith.
1. He must cooperate with colleagues to promote professional issues and interests.
2. He must keep any personal information that shall reach his knowledge in professional contacts with colleagues confidential.
3. He must act to maintain work conditions that shall allow him and his colleagues to perform their work professionally and ethically.
4. He must relate with respect to the qualifications, opinions and findings of his colleagues. He must present them correctly and fairly. He must use the correct channels for expressing his opinion to this colleague.
5. A social worker who is replacing a colleague or who is replaced by a colleague, in professional activities, shall act respectfully to this colleague.
6. He must give the amount of respect and cooperation to other colleagues of other professions that he gives to colleagues of his own profession.
7. He must request professional consultation when material professional considerations require a solution of conflicts that he has with colleagues.
8. He must not exploit a dispute between a colleague and employers to promote his personal interests.
9. A social worker who is an employer, manager or trainer of colleagues, must determine a clear and explicit framework of the professional relationship between them.
10. A social worker who is responsible for the employment of other team members or for assessing their performance, shall fulfill this task without bias and according to clear and open standards.
11. A social worker who is responsible for assessing the performance of the work of a colleague must make sure that his assessments are open to the assessed, and also allow this framework for the expression of a self-assessment of the assessed.
* Comment: The term colleague also refers to students of social work.
B. The social worker must relate to the clients of colleagues with full professional consideration.
1. He must take upon himself the responsibility for the necessary coordination with colleagues, in his service or in other services, regarding clients treated also by them.
2. A social worker, who serves a colleague’s clients, must do this with full professional responsibility which does not detract from his professional responsibility towards his clients.
Relationship Between the Social Worker and the Employing Service
A. A social worker must adhere to undertakings towards his employer, the restrictions of the profession and the Code of Ethics.
1. He must act to improve the policy and methods of work of his employer’s organization, and promote the efficiency effectiveness of the service.
2. He must act to prevent any discrimination between the workers in the employer’s organization.
3. A social worker shall undertake to receive work and to continue it only in a service whose methods of work, policy and work conditions allow him to act according to the Rules of Professional Ethics.
4. A social worker shall not assign students for practical work and shall abstain from guiding them in a service in which the Rules of Professional Ethics are violated.
5. He must undertake to act in his work with integrity, loyalty and to use effectively and with authorization the resources of the employer’s service.
6. He must warn of any case of harm and/or violation of the rules of ethics at the place of his work.
The Ethical Responsibility of the Social Worker Towards his Profession
A. The social worker must maintain the respect and the image of the profession of social work.
1. He must protect the profession and its image and promote them.
2. A social worker shall do his best to contribute his time and professional expertise, for pay or by volunteering, to promote the image and the skills of the profession.
3. He must support any policies with the intention of promoting the profession and its purposes, its development and its implementation.
4. A social worker shall not present misleading information regarding the profession and regarding those employed in it.
5. He must act to prevent unauthorized or unqualified engagement in the profession of social work.
6. He must take action, by the appropriate channels, against the unethical behavior of each colleague in the profession.
B. The Social Worker shall take upon himself responsibility for the expansion of knowledge connected to the professional work, its development and its full utilization.
1. He must base his work on knowledge relevant to social work.
2. He must critically examine the knowledge published in the field of social work and be updated in it.
3. He must contribute to the base of knowledge of the profession of social work, and share information obtained from research and information that was collected at work with his colleagues.
Anchoring the Rules of Ethics in the Social Workers Act
Pursuant to the recommendations of the Council of Social Work, and in accordance with section 27 (2) of the law that deals with disciplinary judgment and which stipulates that the minister shall determine the rules of ethics whose breach constitutes a disciplinary violation according to the law, the following regulations were enacted in the year 1999:
The Social Workers Regulations (Rules of Professional Ethics), 5759 – 1999 (3)
By virtue of my authority pursuant to Sections 27 (2) and 61 (a) of the Social Workers Act, 5756 – 1996, and after consultations with the Council of Social Workers, I hereby enact these regulations:
1. In these rules, “a client” is a person applying whether himself or through another, to receive treatment by a social worker, including someone who is treated by a social worker by law.
2. In his work as a social worker –
(1) The social worker shall work skillfully and loyally while maintaining the client’s honor and his cultural values;
(2) He shall act towards the client in fairness, without bias and without discrimination.
3. (a) The social worker shall maintain the honor of the profession of social work, and shall prevent any action that might harm the honor of the profession.
(b) The social worker shall act fairly and with respect towards his work colleagues and towards work.
4. A social worker –
(1) Shall work skillfully and with professionalism;
(2) Shall not give treatment which requires special skills or training, unless he has that same skill or training;
(3) Shall give the client trustworthy information regarding his training and professional expertise.
5. A social worker shall not give an opinion, confirmation, notice, report, review or any other material that he is required to give, that are false or misleading.
6. A social worker –
(1) Shall not treat a client if there is a fear that he cannot fulfill his professional obligation towards him due to his involvement or due to a personal or family matter, or due to a commitment or fiduciary obligation that he has towards another;
(2) Shall not exploit connections with clients for his personal benefit.
7. A social worker shall not expose a client to eavesdropping, recording, photographing or observation (through a mirror) unless he has obtained the clients’ consent to this in writing, and after he ascertained that the client understands the nature of their consent. Nothing in these provisions shall harm the authority of the social worker to do this pursuant to the law.
8. A social worker shall not receive in consideration for his professional service any benefit, except for his salary or fees.
9. A social worker shall keep secret any information that reaches him within his work as a social worker, and shall not disclose it unless in accordance with the provisions of the law.
10. Nothing in these rules derogates from the obligations and responsibilities of the social worker, pursuant to any law.
We found it appropriate to add to the Code of Ethics of the union, chapter F – Disciplinary Judgment, in the Social Workers Act in order to increase colleagues’ awareness of the fact that the provisions of the chapter on disciplinary judgment in the Social Workers Act shall apply to violations of the rules of ethics that have been confirmed in the Social Workers Act. We cite the main Sections in this chapter. Colleagues are advised to review the full version of the law.
The Social Workers Act – 1996
Chapter F – Disciplinary Judgment
27. Disciplinary Violations
A social worker who did one of the following has committed a disciplinary violation:
(1) Behaved in a manner that does not suit the profession.
(2) Violated the Rules of Professional Ethics that the minister has determined after consultations with the council.
(3) Obtained his registration in the registry through misrepresentation.
(4) Showed irresponsibility or gross negligence in fulfilling his duties.
(5) Was convicted of a dishonorable offence or an offence that indicates that he lacks the responsibility that is required in order to engage in social work.
(6) Violated one of the provisions of Sections 7 and 8 (of the Social Workers Act).
28. The Composition of the Disciplinary Committee
(a) The minister shall appoint a three-member disciplinary committee whose task is to hear and decide upon disciplinary violations.
(b) The members of the disciplinary committee shall be:
(1) Someone who is qualified to be appointed as a Magistrates’ Court judge, recommended by the Minister of Justice, and he shall be the chairman of the committee.
(2) An employee of the Ministry of Labor and Welfare with an academic education.
(3) A social worker with at least 5 years of seniority, according to the recommendation of the council.
34. The Prosecutor and his Duties
(a) The prosecutor before the disciplinary committee shall be the legal counsel of the Ministry of Labor and Welfare or a lawyer that he has authorized for this. The attorney general or his attorney is entitled to serve as the prosecutor, if the attorney general has so decided according to the circumstances of the matter.
(b) A complaint of a disciplinary violation shall be submitted by the prosecutor.
(c) Complaints of disciplinary violations by social workers shall be investigated by social workers who are employees of the State, who shall be appointed by the minister (in this section – investigators), unless the prosecutor has decided, with respect to a complaint of a particular disciplinary violation, in whole or in part, to perform an investigation himself. The investigators who are appointed pursuant to this sub-Section shall act according to the instructions of the prosecutor.
(d) For executing their authorities pursuant to this law the prosecutor and the investigator shall have the authorities pursuant to section 2 of the Criminal Procedure (Testimony) Ordinance, and section 3 of this ordinance shall apply, with necessary changes, to an investigation made by the prosecutor or investigator.
35. Deletion does not prevent the filing of a complaint
If the name of a social worker has been removed from the registry, or his registration in the registry has been suspended, this cannot prevent the prosecutor from submitting a complaint against him to the disciplinary committee provided the complaint was submitted within 12 months from the date of the removal or suspension. If a restriction regarding a social worker was registered in the registry, this cannot prevent the prosecutor from submitting a complaint against him to the disciplinary committee.
36. The Hearing in the Disciplinary Committee
(a) The disciplinary committee’s hearing shall be behind closed doors.
(b) A disciplinary hearing shall be conducted in the presence of the prosecutor and whomever the complaint was submitted against (hereinafter – the defendant). However, the disciplinary committee is entitled to conduct the hearing without the presence of the defendant if his defense counsel appears on his behalf, or if the defendant is absent from the hearing without a sufficient reason, after he was warned that if he is absent without a sufficient reason the committee is entitled to hear his matter without his presence.
(c) The disciplinary committee is entitled, for special reasons that shall be noted, to allow the presence of a person other than those mentioned in sub-Section (b) during the entire hearing or part thereof.
40. Disciplinary Sanctions
If the disciplinary committee has found that the defendant committed a disciplinary violation, it is entitled to take one or more of the following steps against him:
(3) A penalty of NIS 10,000. The Minister of Justice is entitled by an order to change the said amount according to changes in the Consumer Price Index, in the manner stipulated in Section 64 of the Penalties Act, 5737 – 1977 (hereinafter: the “Penalties Act”).
(4) Suspension of registration in the registry of up to 5 years, including a suspension period pursuant to Section 47, if there was such existed.
(5) Deletion of the registration from the registry.
48. Double Jeopardy
Criminal punishment or acquittal does not prevent taking means with respect to a disciplinary violation by the disciplinary committee against someone who is registered in the registry, due to an action or omission, and the taking of steps or acquittal by the disciplinary committee does not prohibit criminal charges against him.
48 A. If an indictment was submitted against a social worker due to an action or omission which is also a cause for a hearing before the disciplinary committee pursuant to this law, the disciplinary committee shall cease its hearings in the complaint until a final judgment has been handed down in the criminal case, unless the committee has decided otherwise for special reasons that shall be noted.
49. Disciplinary Judgment Pursuant to Another Statute.
A social worker who is also subject to a disciplinary judgment pursuant to another statute can be judged with respect to a disciplinary violation according to this law even if he was already judged with respect to the same action or omission pursuant to the other statue, and it is permitted to judge him as stated pursuant to a different statute even if he has already been judged with respect to a disciplinary violation pursuant to this law, provided that he shall not be obligated to pay a fine more than once for the same action or omission.
50. Judgment in a Criminal Case
The findings and the conclusions of a final judgment in a criminal case which convicts the defendant shall be considered as proven in a disciplinary proceeding against the same defendant.
Visit the Internet site of the social workers www.socialwork.org.il
The Ethics Committee
The expanded and revised Code of Ethics was approved by the executive committee of the union in the month of December 1993 and was granted final approval by the central committee of the union in October 1994.
June 2007 Version