Improving online joining in unions – TUC workshop outcomes

This is a write up from a practical workshop we ran at the TUC on improving online joining processes in unions. We had 30 attendees with a broad range of staff functions including IT, comms, membership, organising and leadership, and representing 16 union organisations. Continue reading Improving online joining in unions – TUC workshop outcomes

How can we make it easier to join trade unions?

What’s the most important page on a union website? I’d suggest it’s not the home page, or even the General Secretary’s biography, but the online joining form.

In many unions, a majority of members are now joining online. But too often the forms that they use to do so are letting us down.

Continue reading How can we make it easier to join trade unions?

Congress 2018 digital hub – a snapshot of union digital

Just back from the TUC’s 150th anniversary Congress in Manchester, where we had a Digital Hub stall, helping delegates make the most of tech to follow the conference.

In between charging up delegates’ devices and demoing some of our own digital projects, we tried to make the most of this annual gathering of a real cross section of our movement by asking people about their own digital ideas and challenges.

4 days and several pads of jumbo sticky notes later, here’s a sample of what we found: Continue reading Congress 2018 digital hub – a snapshot of union digital

Online to offline organising – lessons from the US and Australia

Digital offers unions ways to reach out to workers that we’d find hard to access traditionally, due to hostile employers, geographical dispersion or limited organiser resources. It can also provide powerful practical tools for workers to network and organise. But the benefit can be all the greater when you combine the two.

It’s something that’s working well for the OUR Wal-Mart campaign in the US, as campaign director Dan Schlademan and Tim Lyons of Reveille Strategy told a group of UK trade unionists this week at the TUC. Continue reading Online to offline organising – lessons from the US and Australia

Why is the TUC asking you to opt back onto mailing lists?

Have you recently been asked to opt back into an email mailing list you were already subscribed to? If so, you’re not alone. It’s all to do with the changes to Data Protection regulations that come into effect on the 25th May.

These new laws, known as the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), are tightening up Data Protection rules in many ways, with an emphasis on giving individual more rights on how their data is used.

Continue reading Why is the TUC asking you to opt back onto mailing lists?

Thoughtworks accelerator programme: The Digital Union

Back in November, I spent an interesting day in the company of dozens of Thoughtworks staff and others from London’s tech community. 

I was one of 6 presenters talking about real world problems that were affected by technology, and where a different use of technology could potentially make a large difference towards a more equitable society and economy. Continue reading Thoughtworks accelerator programme: The Digital Union

A Digital Hub for Congress 2017

Congress is an evolving event, and year on year we’ve been increasing the levels of digital technologies that we use to run and communicate Congress. This year we’ve made a number of improvements, from our registration system, and email updates to help delegates prepare, to the captioning of delegates names when they appear on the big screen.

Another innovation we’re trying this year is our Digital Hub. It’s a space in our exhibition, on the first floor, that we’re going to be using to help support everyone who’s trying to do Congress digitally in 2017, and to promote ideas that unions could take up to improve their own digital work. Continue reading A Digital Hub for Congress 2017

Making trade unions more agile

At the end of 2016, I took part in a design sprint looking at the unionfinder functionality on the TUC website. The tool matches thousands of people to TUC affiliated unions every month, but it could be easier for users, more accurate in its matching, and better suited to finding and recruiting new members. Continue reading Making trade unions more agile

User needs for union joining forms

Union joining forms are an important but often overlooked step in union organising. You need a process to get people into the union, check applicability in some cases, gather their contact data and set up appropriate payment routes.

Sometimes this means the forms get more complicated than they need to be. Having one guaranteed interaction with a new member means there’s a chance to gather lots of information that unions may or may not need in the future.  However that can bloat forms and put people off from joining due to complexity or concern at sharing data.  Continue reading User needs for union joining forms