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TUC SFPA Progress Report

Report type
Research and reports
Issue date

TUC SFPA Progress Report

26 November 2007

Almost at its halfway point, the Strategic Framework Partnership Arrangement (1 July 2006 - 30 June 2009) continues to assist affiliate trade unions put international development at the heart of their work.

With funding from the SFPA's International Development Learning Fund (IDLF), a range of affiliate unions are running projects raising development awareness among their membership and/or developing partnerships with developing country trade unions. The TUC's SFPA team continues to provide affiliates with individual advice and a range of training activities, which in conjunction with their IDLF projects, is preparing them to submit credible proposals to DFID's Development Awareness Fund (DAF) and Civil Society Challenge Fund (CSCF).

IDLF Funding is also available for mini-grants to help TUC regions and affiliates progress their development awareness strategies by developing education materials, running seminars and hosting trade unionists from developing countries.

The TUC is pleased to report that substantial progress is being made on all success criteria and activities within the SFPA.

Progress on IDLF projects

The SFPA's IDLF funds four affiliate unions to run development activities in each year of the project. The first round of affiliate unions had their proposals approved on 12 March 2007 and have now submitted a first narrative report to the TUC detailing progress achieved in the first six months:

1. Unite - Amicus Section (DAF): have developed and conducted several regional seminars and workplace workshops on globalisation and development for members, also providing practical ways for members to get involved. Unite - Amicus Section successfully submitted a concept note to DFID and are now working on their full proposal due by the end of November 2007.

2. Prospect (DAF): have produced and distributed a range of campaign materials educating their membership on how corporate social responsibility can contribute to international development and the role they can play in embedding it into workplace policy. Prospect successfully submitted a concept note to DFID and are now working on their full proposal due by the end of November 2007.

3. National Union of Teachers (NUT) (DAF): are preparing to pilot a teacher training program on international development as part of the union's Continuing Professional Development programme. To date, the NUT have established a project steering group, appointed tutors, marketed and publicised the programme, secured a venue and agreed on the form, content and delivery of the program. The pilot programmes are scheduled for 26/27 November 2007 and 11/12 February 2008. The NUT intend to submit a DAF proposal in 2008.

4. GMB (CSCF): are currently designing a solidarity programme to build the capacity of an Indian union to assist workers engaged in ship-breaking and allied industries in Mumbai, India. After two successful relationship-building delegations, the Indian union is now conducting background research in preparation for a project design workshop scheduled for February 2008. The outcome of this workshop will form the basis of GMB's CSCF bid in 2008.

TUC Aid Trustees, the decision-making body charged with approving IDLF proposals, met on 21 September 2007, approving Year Two proposals from the NUT and CWU and a request for additional funding from the GMB. PCS submitted a draft proposal and are working towards submitting a final proposal toward the end of 2007.

The NUT have received funding, in conjunction with the Sierra Leone Teachers Union (SLTU) to enhance the rights and empowerment of women teachers in Sierra Leone through basic ICT skills training. Design of and preparation for the training is well underway. The NUT hopes to submit a DFID CSCF bid in 2009. The CWU has commenced exploring a relationship with the Communication Workers Union of the Philippines (CWP) in partnership with One World Action. A series of fact-finding and relationship building delegations are planned over the next six months, to establish the best way the CWU can build the CWP's capacity. The CWU aims to submit a bid to the CSCF in 2008. Other unions exploring the possibility of applying to the IDLF in its second year include:

University and College Union (UCU) (CSCF)

National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) (CSCF)

Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) (CSCF)

Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL)

IDLF assistance and training

The TUC SFPA team continues to assist individual affiliate unions by providing advice on project design, proposals and reporting, and international development strategy generally. The team has also provided advice to the ICTU on its application to the DFID DAF.

Additionally, the TUC contracted BOND to run four one-day training modules conducted from August to October and tailored for affiliate unions intending to develop proposals for DFID funding and designing and running IDLF projects. The course covered project design and concept notes; logical framework analysis; preparing and writing a project proposal; and developing and monitoring a budget. Participants from a range of affiliate unions including Prospect, Amicus, GMB, CWU, UCU, attended the course, giving it excellent feedback. The four modules will be run again from January to March in 2008. The course is open to all affiliates interested in applying for DFID funding in the future by contacting Ben Moxham at

Future education activities

A range of education and training activities are planned for the first half of 2008.. A two-day Introduction to International Development Education for union officers and tutors will be held on 17-18 April 2008. The course will 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 will also cover practical action, assisting participants on how their union work can contribute to international development.

A new 'Unions, Gender and Development' course is planned for 7-8 June 2008, examining how gender concerns can best be addressed within trade union work on international development.

The TUC SFPA team are also developing a three-day Introduction to International Development on-line module targeted at union representatives in the workplace. It will complement current ILDF development awareness projects being developed and implemented by affiliate unions.

Finally, another 'Next Steps' seminar is proposed for Spring 2008, to allow affiliate unions to share their experiences with IDLF projects and/or international development strategies generally.

Report of International Development Conference

The TUC published a report of the International Development Conference titled 'Bringing Unions and NGOs Together' held in March 2007. Funded under the SFPA, the report captures the importance of trade unions in development and of union/NGO partnerships. With many examples of best practice collaboration on international development, the report is an excellent resource for affiliate unions interested in strengthening their international development work. A pdf version of the report is available at: .

International Development at TUC Congress 2007,

Two events highlighting the TUC's work on international development were held at its 2007 Congress. The International Development Reception reflected on: 'DFID at 10, progress and prospects'. Hosted by Frances O'Grady, the TUC Deputy General Secretary, speakers included Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, Minister for International Development who spoke of the continuing importance of the relationship between DFID and the Trade Union movement.

The International Development Fringe - co-organised with Prospect Union - highlighted the ways in which TUC affiliates, with funding from the International Development Learning Fund, are building solidarity, and tackling poverty and social injustice to facilitate development in the global south. Speakers included Rt Hon Shahid Malik MP, Minister for International Development and Lee Parris from Prospect Union.

DFID/TUC Relationship Building Process

The trade union movement meet and discussed a range of development issues with the Rt Hon Douglas Alexander, the new Minister for International Development at a successful 9th DFID/TUC Forum on 21st November 2007.

To enhance the co-operation and communication between the TUC and DFID on the international development agenda - a key intended outcome of the SFPA - the two bodies are in the process of formulating a series of discussion and coordination meetings to complement the existing DFID/TUC Forum.


Gemma Freedman, the SFPA project officer currently on maternity leave, has given birth to Jasmine, a beautiful baby girl. Ben Moxham is her maternity leave cover. Annie Watson, the TUC's advisor on international development and Aisha Latif, the project assistant continue to assist the project.

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