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LIVING IN A DEMOCRACY:TRADE UNIONS What you will learn: 1. The rights and responsibilities of Trade Unions 2. Reasons for and against joining a union 3.

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Presentation on theme: "LIVING IN A DEMOCRACY:TRADE UNIONS What you will learn: 1. The rights and responsibilities of Trade Unions 2. Reasons for and against joining a union 3."— Presentation transcript:

1 LIVING IN A DEMOCRACY:TRADE UNIONS What you will learn: 1. The rights and responsibilities of Trade Unions 2. Reasons for and against joining a union 3. How members participate in unions 4. How members are represented in unions 5. The role of the Shop Steward 6. Representation of women and ethnic minorities in unions.

2 What is a Trade Union? Trade unions are organisations that try to protect the rights of workers. They are specialist PRESSURE GROUPS that focus on employers and employees. ACTIVITY: 1. Copy this aim: To understand what Trade Unions are and what they do. 2. Read the sheet on the background of Trade Unions and answer the questions in sentences.

3 Trade Union Heads and Tails! ACTIVITY: Which groups of workers (red) would the following Trade Unions (yellow) represent? Educational Institute Of Scotland Schools and Colleges UNISON Transport and General Workers Union Fire Brigade Union Train drivers Fire Fighters Local Council Workers eg. janitors

4 Trade Union Structure STUC / TUC CONFERENCE GENERAL SECRETARY NATIONAL EXECUTIVE DISTRICT OR REGIONAL OFFICE (local headquarters of union) BRANCH (in the workplace) SHOP STEWARD Represents workers In the workplace. MEMBERS In the workplace ANNUAL UNION CONFERENCE ACTIVITY: Read the sheet Trade Union Organisation and answer the questions in sentences. Delegates from ALL Trade Unions attend Agrees the Unions national policies Sends delegates to National Conference Pay fees to union in return for representation Elected leader of the union EXTENSION: Textbook Study Figure 4.1 on page 27 And read Trades Union Congress and TU Membership On page 28. Then answer Qs 7 to 9 on p27.

5 Rights and Responsibilities AIM: To understand the rights and responsibilities of trade unions and their members. Draw a grid like the one below: TRADE UNION RIGHTSTRADE UNION RESPONSIBILITIES MEMBERS RIGHTS MEMBERS RESPONSIBILITIES

6 Now write the following statements into the correct box on your grid Recruit members Ask about changes in wages and conditions Take industrial action to protect workers rights eg. strike Elect the local Shop Steward Have unions represent them in any dispute with management Take part in Industrial action Not put pressure on people to join Not make unreasonable demands or threats Hold a secret ballot for industrial action and ensure it is peaceful and lawful To vote in the election of the Shop Steward Report problems to the Shop Steward To act within the law when participating in industrial action TIP: You should have three entries in EACH box on your grid. EXTENSION: Write a Short speech that you would make to Trade Union members to tell them about their rights and responsibilities as Union members.

7 How did you do? TRADE UNION RIGHTSTRADE UNION RESPONSIBILITIES MEMBERS RIGHTSMEMBERS RESPONSIBILITIES Recruit members Ask about changes in wages and conditions Take industrial action to protect workers rights eg. strike Elect the local Shop Steward Have unions represent them in any dispute with management Take part in Industrial action Not make unreasonable demands or threats Hold a secret ballot for industrial Action and ensure it is peaceful and lawful To vote in the election of the Shop Steward Report problems to the Shop Steward To act within the law when Participating in industrial action Not put pressure on people to join

8 WHAT CAN TRADE UNIONS DO TO HELP THEIR MEMBERS? Sometimes, employers and employees fall out with each other, eg over wages or hours of work, safety. This is called an INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE. The Trade Union would try to NEGOTIATE with the employer to resolve the problem. If they are unable to find a solution, the union can take INDUSTRIAL ACTION

9 Types of Industrial Action STRIKE: workers refuse to work for a period of time. PICKET (right): A small group of union members can protest outside their place of work WORK TO CONTRACT: workers carry out no duties other than those in their contract. OVERTIME BAN: workers agree to work only the number of hours agreed in their contract. ACTIVITY: Read Trade Union Action on p29/31 and Restricting Union Action on p31 in your textbook Answer questions 1 to 4 on p31

10 INDUSTRIAL ACTION – FIRE FIGHTERS STRIKE 2002

11 The Fire Fighters Strike In May 2002, the FBU (Fire Brigades Union) began a campaign for a 40% increase in wages. The employers (local councils) said they could not afford this. They said a big increase could only be agreed if the Fire Fighters agreed to modernise. The Fire Fighters disagreed and went on strike, refusing to attend fires and emergencies.

12 Fire Fighters Strike 2002 The dispute continued for over a year, although the after several strikes these were stopped by the FBU. After lengthy negotiations, the employers agreed to give a 16% increase in wages over three stages in return for some modernisation of the service. Who do think came off best in this dispute and why?

13 ACTIVITY: Industrial Action Copy this aim: To understand the types of industrial action trade unions can take. Choose one of the Case Studies on pages 32/33 and answer the appropriate questions on page 33. When finished – 3 pupils will report back to the class on their case studies, explaining: WHO was involved in the dispute. WHY there was a dispute. WHAT action the union took. What the RESULT of the dispute was (who won?). EXTENSION: Choose another Case Study and answer the questions.

14 Should workers always join a union? Since 1979, the power of Trade Unions has been greatly reduced by the government. Some workers now feel there is little advantage in joining a union because they are not as powerful as in the past. Others believe that they still offer protection for workers against bullying by employers. We will now look at the arguments FOR and AGAINST joining a Trade Union.

15 WHY JOIN A TRADE UNION? TASK 1: Look at the following arguments – decide which are FOR and which as AGAINST joining a union. Write your answer as a table. TASK 2: Read page 30. Then answer Qs 5 and 6 on page 29. For Q 5, choose THREE of the benefits to write about. EXTENSION: Would you join a trade union in the future? Write a paragraph explaining why you would or would not join.. Negotiate (discuss) better pay and conditions with employer Some people believe unions have too much power. Wage rises go to everyone so even non members get advantages without joining Already have good pay and conditions so do not need union to negotiate Being part of a big group makes it difficult for employers to pick on their staff. Legal backing and advice is available to members

16 SHOULD WORKERS JOIN A TRADE UNION? FOR AGAINST Negotiate (discuss) better pay and conditions with employer Some people believe unions have too much power. Wage rises go to everyone so even non members get advantages without joining Already have good pay and conditions so do not need union to negotiate Being part of a big group makes it difficult for employers to pick on their staff. Legal backing and advice is available to members What do you think? Would YOU join a trade union?

17 PARTICIPATION BY UNION MEMBERS Copy this aim: To understand how trade union members can participate in the work of their union. Trade Union members can participate in a variety of ways in their Union. Q: Why is it important as many members as possible participate in the work of a trade union? These can be on a DAY TO DAY basis, or at times when there is an INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE between the union and the employer. ACTIVITY: Copy and complete the diagram on the next slide to show how members can participate in their union. Use a full page.

18 DAY TO DAY DURING DISPUTES PARTICIPATION BY MEMBERS IN TRADE UNIONS BOTH Vote for union officials eg. Shop Steward Vote for secret ballot, eg. For a strike. Communicate with the media Take part in industrial action, eg. strike, go slow Attend union meetings Pay membership fees EXTENSION: Read page 35 in your textbook and answer questions 1 to 5 on page 36

19 PARTICIPATION ….. ?

20 PARTICIPATION: Test your understanding! Read the story about Craig Brewsters search for a new job. See if you can find up to EIGHT examples of how he PARTICIPATED in his trade union.

21 REPRESENTATION IN TRADE UNIONS

22 How do trade unions represent their members? TRADE UNION REPRESENTATION DEAL WITH GRIEVANCES PROVIDE SERVICES INDUSTRIAL ACTION Provide legal help for members who are unfairly dismissed Go on strike to win a compromise pay deal with employers Take workers concerns to management eg. over health and safety

23 WHO REPRESENTS TRADE UNION MEMBERS?

24 THE ROLE OF THE SHOP STEWARD Copy the heading above and the aim below: AIM: To understand what how a Shop Steward represents trade union members. TASK 1: Use the yellow box on page 34 to make a spider diagram on The qualities of a Shop Steward. Use coloured pencils. TASK 2: Read the fact file on Shop Stewards on page 34 and answer Qs 2, 5 and 6 on p35. Q6 is an ENQUIRY SKILLS question.

25 Increasing female membership in unions. Collect the sheet from your teacher about increasing female membership in trade unions. Read it carefully and answer the questions in sentences.

26 Percentage of union members and officials by gender - 2004 What does this chart tell us about women in official positions within trade unions?

27 Why are women under represented in official positions in trade unions? Which of your points are SOCIAL (attitudes, family) and which are ECONOMIC (money, type of job) reasons for the under representation of women?

28 Under representation of women in official positions Task 1: copy and complete this table SOCIAL REASONS ECONOMIC REASONS Family commitments prevent some women giving a lot of time to their union Women more likely to be in low paid work so might not be able to afford fees Sexist men unlikely to vote for a female shop steward Women more likely to work part time – less likely to join A union Some trade unions are dominated by men – intimidating for women TASK 2: Read page 36 Of your textbook. Answer questions 7 to 9 On the same page.

29 Reasons for under representation of women SOCIAL ECONOMIC Sexist men unlikely to vote for a female shop steward Some trade unions are dominated by men – intimidating for women Women more likely to work part time – less likely to join A union Some trade unions are dominated by men – intimidating for women Family commitments prevent some women giving a lot of time to their union

30 Ethnic Minorities and Trade Unions Proportion of ethnic minority workers who are members of trade unions - 2004 ENQUIRY SKILLS: Using the chart above, what conclusions can you make about the membership levels of ethnic minorities in trade unions? (Highest and lowest?)

31 Ethnic Minorities and Trade Unions Percentage of trade union members by ethnic group, UK 2004 White93.9% Mixed0.6% Asian or Asian British2.6% Black to Black British2.1% Chinese or other 0.8% ENQUIRY SKILLS: What conclusion can you reach about the representation of ethnic minorities in trade unions using the table above? Why do you think ethnic minorities are under represented in trade unions?

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