As part of Blog Action Day, Owen blogged earlier today on the ‘Power of We’ and that trade unions are the manifestation of the ‘we’ at work. What does the ‘we’ at work actually mean and how do unions think about this to make us stronger?
I am the Director of the TUC’s Organising Academy and am responsible for the development and delivering of the Academy’s training programme for union organisers and officers.
Following on from being active in community and women’s campaigns, I joined the TSSA as an Academy Organiser in 2001 and after graduating, worked on national and regional campaigns for Prospect, NATFHE and ATL.
I studied Politics at the University of York, hold an MRes from Birkbeck, University of London and also a Diploma in Education from the Institute of Education. I have also studied Contemporary European Labour Studies at the Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Our focus on this blog is in organising, and by extension, growing stronger unions, so it was with great interest that I read Seamus Milne’s column in the Guardian entitled ‘The problem with unions is that they’re not strong enough’. At the end of the piece I was left thinking ‘what are the solutions?’
Are you interested in campaigns? Have experience of working on them in workplaces or in a community setting? Want to learn more about campaigning while getting practical experience?
Then why not consider applying for a place as a Trainee Organiser at the Organising Academy?
I am pleased to announce the release of the TUC Organising Academy’s programme of courses for 2012-13.
Renewing our partnership with Ruskin College, we are delivering a range of courses which support increasing the capacity of unions to be strong, effective and campaigning organisations.
For the last few weeks I’ve blogged here about the role of grassroots organising in mounting successful campaigns and in prioritising building activism within a campaign in the run up to our Grassroots conference at the end of May. As we often say on this site, there is no silver bullet in the work that we do, but conversations such as the ones we had during the event are a key part in us understanding what we do and how we can be effective in that. The challenge for us is finding space and time to continue to have these conversations.
Generally the forces that disagree with us have a wealth of monetary resources at their feet. They can pour money into TV ads, into billboards and in reaching the powerful to support their aims and messages. What do we have to compare to change the way people think on our issues?
This question resurfaced while I was watching this article on the Rachel Maddow show. In describing the Republican attack on the rights to abused women who have come to the US via marriage (and whose visas depended on this relationship), she outlines the relationship between the owners of sites that advertise mail order brides (who this law helps) and the groups who are lobbying to repeal the law. Half way through the piece, I began to consider again about the impact that money has on building support for campaigns coupled with a focus on slogans, messages and polling.