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

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

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

TUC digital healthcheck

The TUC’s digital healthcheck is a simple tool that you can work through in around 20 minutes, to help establish where your union stands on digital maturity.

An interactive Excel spreadsheet looks at six aspects of digital maturity – strategic approach, membership, communications, web presence, data, IT and systems. There are no right or wrong scores; is it rather a means to snapshot and analyse your union’s current position on the digital maturity journey. Continue reading TUC digital healthcheck

What are the next 6 million union members going to look like?

This video is a talk from the TUC fringe event “How can unions adapt to survive in a digital-first world?” at Congress 2016. Emma Mulqueeny OBE is the Founder/CEO of Rewired State and Young Rewired State, CEO of Elbi and a former member of the Speaker’s Commission on Digital Democracy, talks about the challenges for UK trade unions in reaching out to “97ers” – the generation of young people now entering the workforce. Continue reading What are the next 6 million union members going to look like?

The campaign for online union balloting

Probably the defining issue for unions over the last year has been the government’s Trade Union Act. It’s a wide-ranging collection of restrictions on union’s rights and duties, that make it harder for unions to organise and represent their members, and that undermines British workers’ right to strike.

We’re proud of the concerted and unified campaign that unions and union members mounted against it during its long parliamentary passage. We managed to secure extensive concessions and defeats to some of its worst measures, cutting off harmful proposals that struck at unions’ finances and organisation.

But we also won an interesting positive change from the Government, one that they had tried their hardest to resist. They’ve now conceded an independent review into allowing unions to use online voting for strikes and statutory ballots. Continue reading The campaign for online union balloting