Social workers yesterday declared war on their bosses, accusing them of betraying the sector and neglecting people in need. In an advertisement published in a newspaper yesterday, the workers said they were furious the Social Welfare Department appeared interested only in cutting welfare spending. 'The words 'declare war' have never been used in any campaign in the social welfare sector. However today, we can no longer be silent. We have to come out to defend social welfare,' the advert said. The workers will march from government headquarters in Central to the Hong Kong Council of Social Service in Wan Chai tomorrow to express their growing discontent. Cheung Kwok-che, president of the Social Workers' General Union and organiser of the protest, said he expected at least 1,000 social workers to participate. 'Social workers' discontent has already reached boiling point,' he said. Mr Cheung said that over the past 12 months the department had introduced a range of policies that had caused problems in the welfare sector. These included a cost-cutting programme, cuts in government benefits and the contracting out of some welfare services. 'These policies only focus on cutting welfare spending. They turn a blind eye on needy people at a time when Hong Kong is haunted by the economic downturn,' Mr Cheung said. He warned the department should not ignore their grievances. 'They should consult us before introducing the policies,' he said. 'They should offer more quality services to the needy people.' A Social Welfare Department spokesman responded last night: 'The policies that we introduce are not just aimed at saving money. In addition, we have a monitoring system to keep track on the performance of the services.'