Designing online forms to engage with workers about their work

In the TUC Digital Lab we’ve been doing some research into using different formats of work advice to find and engage with non-member workers. We’ve got more info about this here, but I wanted to start with some interesting lessons we’re drawing from the numbers on how our forms worked, which could be useful to unions seeking to engage non-members for organising projects.

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New digital tactics behind our key workers’ pay rise campaign

As MPs stood on their doorsteps and clapped, offered platitudes and had their pictures taken – there was a glimmer of hope for the millions of overworked and low-paid key workers who are keeping the country going during the pandemic. Many of us could be forgiven for assuming that these public displays of support might translate into meaningful improvements in pay and conditions for our hero key workers.

So when the chancellor decided to freeze the pay of public sector workers, to keep the minimum wage at a measly £8.72 and to continue letting companies use exploitative zero-hours contracts, it was clear that this government’s words and Tweets would not equal any significant action. 

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Making a virtual out of a necessity: NASUWT online conference 2021 case study

Organising a fully virtual and democratic trade union conference. By NASUWT’s Sammy Connell and Chris Weavers.

The NASUWT held its centenary Annual Conference at the ICC Belfast Convention Centre over the Easter weekend in 2019.  A celebration of the success of the union over the previous 100 years, often in the face of adversity. Little could we have anticipated the challenges of the next two years.

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Testing your union’s new digital services by prototyping

Prototyping is a very important tool when it comes to designing new digital systems. As non-profits, reliant on members’ contributions, unions have to be careful to get the best returns out of any digital spend. Yet the costs for new digital development can run into thousands of pounds.

Building a prototype – the most basic version of your solution that you can test with real users – lets you check if you’re on the right track, and reduces the risk of costly project failures.

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Unions and digital disruptors

TUC Digital Lab report

In recent years, new digital start-ups have changed the faces of whole industries. New entrants have risen to dominance in their sectors and previously major players have collapsed. The pace of change has only intensified with the digital-first response to Covid-19.

Unions aren’t commercial businesses but as organisations we don’t exist in a vacuum. We too can find our position eroded by disruptive innovation if we fail to understand how it works or adapt to it.

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Improving your video call presence – a how to guide

Since the lockdown, video conferencing has become second nature for our team meetings and one to one calls. And more of us are giving presentations online to union conferences, rallies and meetings, or being interviewed in our homes for media or training webinars.  

When you’re doing this kind of presentation, you control a lot more about the way you’re seen on screen than you would have done at a physical event that had been set up by somebody else. You are also viewed much closer up than usual, so the little things about your presentation can get more scrutiny.  

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