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TUC SFPA Progress Report

Report type
Research and reports
Issue date

DfID-TUC Trade Union Forum

TUC Progress report on Strategic Framework Partnership Arrangement (SFPA)

August 2007


The TUC/DFID Strategic Framework Partnership Arrangement (SFPA) July 2006 - June 2009, is now in its second year. Amongst other things, the first year of the Partnership involved the setting up and running of an International Development Learning Fund (IDLF) and an accompanying course on international development project training; continued work on TUC Development Education and a major TUC International Development Conference. Amongst other things, the SFPA is continuing to advise Year One IDLF affiliates who are drawing up their DFID funding proposals, as well as assisting potential Year Two IDLF affiliates in drawing up their initial proposals to the IDLF. The SFPA is also organising two events for the forthcoming TUC Congress.

The SFPA Project Officer, Gemma Freedman, will be on maternity leave from 14 October 2007. In an attempt to organise as smooth a handover as possible, Ben Moxham who has been appointed as maternity cover, will begin work at the TUC in the last week in September.

IDLF related DAF/CSCF Progress

With assistance from Gemma Freedman and Annie Watson, the following unions applied to the International Development Learning Fund for year 1 and the TUC Aid Trustees formally approved their proposals on 12 March 2007:

1. Amicus the Union (DAF): to build on existing international links and development education work, as well as the international solidarity capacity of its members. Amicus intend to submit a DAF proposal in 2007.

2. Prospect (DAF): membership education to demonstrate how a corporate social responsibility workplace policy can contribute to the international development agenda. Prospect intend to submit a DAF proposal in 2007.

3. National Union of Teachers (NUT) (DAF): to develop a component on international development as part of the union's Continuing Professional Development Programme for teachers. The NUT intends to submit a DAF proposal in 2008.

4. GMB - Britain's General Union (CSCF); to work towards developing a solidarity programme with workers engaged in ship breaking in India. The GMB intend to submit a CSCF proposal in 2008.

The TUC team is supporting these affiliates with on-going advice on their projects and a training programme.

Possible year 2 IDLF projects include the following:

The decision-making body to approve funding under the IDLF is a sub-committee of the TUC Aid Trustees and a meeting is set for 21 September to approve the first batch of Year 2 proposals. The below list is based on current communications with the TUC.

Communication Workers Union, who are interested in doing an IDLF Access CSCF project with their sister union in the Philippines

National Union of Teachers, who are interested in doing an IDLF Access CSCF Information Technology project with the Sierra Leone Teachers Union

Public and Commercial Services Union, who are interested in doing an IDLF Access DAF project focusing on their unique contribution to development as the Civil Servants union, who's members include DFID and FCO employees.

National Association of Schoolmasters Union or Women Teachers, who are exploring interested in doing an IDLF Access CSCF project with sister Zimbabwean teacher unions.

Other unions also currently expressing interest in the IDLF include UCU, TSSA and the ATL.

Advice and training

The TUC has provided and will continue to provide a large amount of the advice to each affiliate on an individual basis, at all stages of their interest in and then subsequent engagement with the IDLF.

In addition, In May, the TUC contracted BOND's training team to provide (in consultation with the TUC) bespoke project training for affiliates both participating and/or interested in the IDLF, as well as TUC Staff, on the DAF and CSCF using trade union examples. The training, which began in June and is due to conclude in October 2007, consists of four sessions designed to enable participants to understand the different stages of putting together a proposal, including:

Project design and concept notes

Logical framework analysis

Preparing and writing a project proposal


Project monitoring and evaluation

Seven TUC affiliates attended the first session and six the second. During the training and homework, the IDLF affiliates are able to begin to develop their DAF applications. Feedback from the first session has been very encouraging. BOND have indicated that this is the first time that they have run the four individual training days as an actual course and we understand that they are also finding the experience useful.

Mini Grants Scheme and TUC Regions

The SFPA is continuing to provide advice and support to TUC Regions. Specifically, advice has been given to the Northern, Midlands and the Southern and Eastern Regions.

The Northern TUC Region was awarded a Mini Grant to hold an International Conference on 8 March, which focused on a number of issues including Trade and Development to which Ian McCartney MP, then Minister for Trade was a key speaker, prospects for development in Palestine and Latin America.

The Midlands TUC has recently been awarded a Mini Grant to assist them in inviting an officer from the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions' Central Region during which time a formal twinning arrangement between the two regions will be signed.

Whilst Mini Grants have only been awarded to TUC Regions this year, they are open to affiliates too. An application has just been received from the GMB and the ATL are currently planning to apply for a number of Mini Grants.

Officer and Tutor training course

A three-day Officer and Tutor training course was organised for 2-4 April. The course which had attendance from PCS, NUT, GMB, CWU, FBU, NUJ and the POA, as well as a number of TUC tutors, is focused on enabling people to explore globalisation and development, refugees and migrant workers, trade, corporate accountability, the slave trade and core labour standards and within that, the role of trade unions. The course also focused on practical action, assisting attendees to understand how they can contribute to international development through their union work. Further training events are being planned.

TUC/DFID relations

The TUC has continued to report on the progress of the SFPA in meetings with DFID and in reports to the DFID/TUC Forum. Currently, the TUC SFPA Year One Report to DFID is being finalised.

Another DFID/TUC Forum was held on 7 June and issues discussed included. This was the last Forum that the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP was to attend as Secretary of State for International Development and the TUC thanked him for his support to trade unions during the past three years. The TUC is currently organizing the next Forum date, which will be the first for the new Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP.

The 'How to Work with Trade Unions' is continuing to be publicised with a number of Southern Unions and most TUC Officers in their conversations with Southern colleagues now draw their attention to the 'How To' Guide. The TUC is also monitoring the DFID website Consultations Page in order to encourage sister national centres to submit to CAP consultations. Currently the TUC is liaising with both the Ghana TUC and Malawi TUC over their current CAP consultations.

One of the March 2007 TUC/DFID Forum agenda items reviewed the 'How to Work with Trade Unions' guide, for which the TUC supplied a comprehensive progress report from its point of view. Leading from that review, one action point action point was:

'DFID Country Office Staff will be asked to provide a short summary of the relationship between their DFID office and local trade unions. These summaries will include identification of the DFID local contact person, which unions they have links with and what they are doing with them.'

Results from that exercise (in which only a relatively small number of DFID offices responded), showed that whilst a number of trade unions are receiving funding, including in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Ghana and most recently Tanzania, only a small number of DFID country offices are working with local unions and most of these have an indirect relationship. In one case, in Uganda, the unions have applied for DFID funding but have not been successful and there is no relationship with the union. The TUC has contacted the Ugandan national trade union centre, NOTU to find out more.

The TUC is also exploring the most effective way to carryout its side of the following action point relating to Migration from the June 07 Forum:

'The TUC agreed to contact union national centres, especially in key source countries, to encourage them to contact DFID country offices to pursue the commitments to work with unions contained in the DFID policy statement and DFID agreed to encourage staff in country to contact trade unions.'

Based on the TUC's response to the DIFD Country Office notes, which will be available in early September and further discussions with DFID, the TUC and DFID SFPA Team will look at developing a plan to focus on how best practice can be shared and the relationship between unions and local DFID Offices can be better develop.

TUC Congress

This year, the SFPA Project Office is organising two events at Congress. The annual International Development Reception, this year entitled 'DFID at 10, Progress and Prospects', will be held on 11 September, between 6-7pm in the Grand Hotel. With Frances O'Grady, TUC Deputy General Secretary hosting the event, speakers include the Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP and Sharan Burrow, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. A War on Want exhibition on the informal economy in Zambia will also be exhibited during the reception. Due to security considerations, this is an invitation only event.

On Wednesday 12 September, from 12.45 - 2pm, the SFPA is organizing a fringe meeting called 'Bargaining for International Development: New Union Initiatives'. It aims to highlight the various ways in which the TUC's affiliates are playing a role within international development from working within their unionised workplaces - whether that is enabling lay members to get involved, or indeed paid officials. It will also demonstrate how funding from DFID, whether through the TUC's SFPA International Development Learning Fund or directly through their Development Awareness Fund can be used to help us achieve our shared ambitions around poverty, social justice and development.

Chaired by Paul Noon, General Secretary of Prospect, speakers include: Shahid Malik MP, DFID Parliamentary Under Secretary of State; Diana Holland, T&G National Organiser for Women, Race & Equalities Section of UNITE - the Union and Lee Parris, Prospect Branch member of EDF Energy. There will be an emphasis on the day for questions and the sharing of initiatives from the floor too.

Future plans

The annual Next Steps for International Development Seminar will be held sometime during the autumn. Further TUC development education initiatives are being planned including: another Officer and Tutor's Introduction to International Development training course 17/18 April; a new Introduction to Development Gender course for women trade unionists during June 2007; and a three-day Introduction to International Development on-line module.

Additional information:

Union project funding from DFID

The TUC is pleased to report that two affiliates and the TUC itself successfully submitted proposals during 2006:
1. TUC: a three-year, £400,000 CSCF Organising project in partnership with the Sierra Leone Labour Congress which will greatly assist in the post-conflict rebuilding of the trade union movement

2. UNISON: £304,000 CSCF to strengthen the public sector trade union response to HIV/AIDS in southern Africa'. Subject to final confirmation, following submission of clarifications sought by DFID

3. TGWU: £299,999 over 3 years to facilitate a learning process to build a new union-wide international development organising strategy, and integrate development goals within the core of the T&G's organising objectives.

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