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Paper: Bringing the Community In: Possibilities for public sector union success through community unionism
Accepted for publication in the International Journal of Human Resources Management, special edition on Australian public sector employment relations 2006. For a PDF copy please email, Amanda Tattersall School of Business, University of Sydney firstname.lastname@example.org
Public sector employment relations are increasingly difficult for public sector unions. This paper uses the concept of community unionism to explore how and when relationships between unions and community organisations may enhance union power and success in bargaining and policy reform. The paper uses a case study of the NSW Teachers Federation and their four year campaign for public education between 2001 and 2004. This case study shows the success of long term deep alliances between parents and teachers in achieving policy reform, while highlighting some limitations for community unionism strategy in salary negotiations. The paper concludes that community unionism is a viable strategy for public sector unions, and suggests that organisational relationships, common interest and multi-scalar forms of activity are important elements of success.
Keywords: public sector employment relations, labour-community coalitions; community unionism; community; union strategy.
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Paper: Union-Community Coalitions and Community Unionism
Union-Community Coalitions and Community Unionism: developing a framework for the role of union-community relationships in union renewal; A look at the pattern of recent relationships between unions and community organisations in NSW, Australia
Paper submitted to International Colloquium on Union Renewal Conference
HEC Montreal, Montreal, Quebec; November 18th to 20th 2004
Amanda Tattersall; Work and Organisational Studies, University of Sydney
Relationships between unions and community organisations are an important feature of current strategies for union renewal. This paper develops a three part typology that categorises these union-community relationships, ranging from simple instrumental union-community relationships, to union-community coalitions and finally to community unionism. The paper argues that the deeper the union-community relationship, the more likely it is to yield union power and achieve successful campaign victories. The paper then explores this typology by analysing three case studies that consider each of these relationship forms, examining some recent practices of the Central Labor Council in Sydney Australia (Labor Council of NSW). Through these case studies the limitations and strengths of each of these relationship types are drawn out. The most important lesson is that effective union-community relationships require not only a relationship of trust and reciprocity between the coalition partners, but most importantly require a significant depth of commitment and participation by unions
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Conference Paper: Getting it Together, understanding the practice of political coalitions
Paper Delivered at Association of Pacific Rim Universities Doctoral Students Conference, August 2005 Eugene Oregon.
Written by Amanda Tattersall. Work and Organisational Studies, University of Sydney, email@example.com
An updated version of this paper is 'There is Power in Coalition.'
A key issue for 21st century political activism is how union and community organizations can work effectively together in political coalition. The 1998 ‘turtles and teamsters’ alliance in Seattle popularized coalitions between community organizations and unions as an effective strategy for political change. Since then, political coalitions have become a common feature of movements seeking political power. In particular in industrialized nations, unions are turning towards ‘the community’ to build alliances to increase their power in negotiations with employers and the state. Yet research on political coalitions is inadequate; there is insufficient analysis of when alliances are likely to effectively deliver political outcomes or stronger social movements. This paper develops a framework for political coalitions in order to explain when and how they are likely to be effective. It reframes existing literature by organizing current debates into a typography that analyses ascending categories of coalition effectiveness. It identifies four different types of political coalitions: ad hoc coalitions, support coalitions, progressive coalitions and deep coalitions. The article then identifies four key criteria that vary the effectiveness of coalitions – the issue/common interest that unites the coalition, the structure and strategy that links the parties, the extent of organisation/union participation and the scale of the campaign and the coalition.
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