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TRADE UNION ORGANISATION MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCES BARRY FAWCETT EI SPECIALIST CONSULTANT.

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Presentation on theme: "TRADE UNION ORGANISATION MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCES BARRY FAWCETT EI SPECIALIST CONSULTANT."— Presentation transcript:

1 TRADE UNION ORGANISATION MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCES BARRY FAWCETT EI SPECIALIST CONSULTANT

2 Introduction The purpose of a trade union is to defend and improve the working conditions of its members and to represent their interests to the Government, employers and society as a whole. This requires money, staff, accommodation and structures at national, regional and local levels. In order to function a union needs to attract and to retain members. That requires aims and objectives, policies, services and governance provisions normally through a formal written constitution.

3 Running a trade union requires business and management skills. It is an enterprise and an employer. It needs to attract customers/orders which in a trade union means subscription paying members. It needs to raise money mainly from members‘ subscriptions.

4 It is likely to be in competition with other unions. The more members it can recruit and retain the more it will be able to expand its services, increase its influence and be more attractive to potential members. Management skills and techniques are as important to a trade union as they are to a business and complement the requisite political skills.

5 Finance Mainly from members’ subscriptions. How do you determine the level or levels of subscription. How do you collect them. How do you allocate the money raised through subscriptions between the national, regional and local structures. What is the cost of providing services that will attract and retain members. What services or levels of service can be provided by unpaid lay union representatives and what has to be provided by paid full and/or part time employees.

6 Subscription Levels They have to be affordable and competitive. Can be at different levels for different categories of members e.g. full and part time workers. Can include “loss leaders” such as free student teacher rates, below cost rates for newly qualified teachers or other new recruits. Can be banded by rates of pay. How often should the levels be reviewed. On what criteria. By whom or by what part of the union’s structure.

7 Collecting Subscriptions Collect locally or nationally or a combination of the two. Paid direct by members by cash, cheques,direct debits or credit cards. Over the phone and online. Can they be collected through salary deduction by the employer and then sent to the union nationally or locally.

8 Membership Recording How do you maintain accurate and up to date membership records and details. How do you ensure members subscriptions have been paid and are up to date. How do you prevent any possible financial fraud. How do you track changes of school, employers and address. What IT systems can you use and afford. Do you have a Disaster Recovery Programme.

9 Trade Union Structures What is the most appropriate and effective structure for your union having regard to your membership and the structure of education provision and government in your country. Is your government a unitary or federal structure. Who are the employers. Are there any private employers. How do you ensure representative, fair and democratically accountable structures and cost effectiveness. Are there any particular minorities issues that need to be catered for.

10 Powers And Responsibilities Who does what. What is the supreme decision making body or bodies. What is the relationship between the union’s conference and the national executive. What are the powers of the union nationally, regionally and locally and how should they be shared.

11 How are the decision making powers shared between the union’s staff and elected representatives. What sort of committee structure at national, local and regional levels best meets the needs of the union. What constitutional safeguards need to be provided to prevent abuses. How do you ensure timely and accurate financial management and controls.

12 Membership Recruitment Recruitment and retention are equally important. What are the most effective strategies and practical means. How can you motivate members at all levels within the union to recruit and retain. Can the unions expertise be added to by outside organisations cost effectively. Is there scope for affiliate arrangements with commercial organisations which can provide services which members would value at a reduced cost e.g. insurance, discount shopping.

13 What are your communications and publicity strategies. How do you monitor and react to members views and opinions. How do you monitor membership trends and demographics. What scope is there for targeted membership efforts directed at particular categories of potential members. How do you collect and disseminate best practice.


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