UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

7 core skills for trade union leaders

Gregor Gall reflects on the life of the late Scottish print union leader Vincent Flynn and identifies seven core skills for effective trade union leadership:

- the ability to develop a national agenda for a union

- the ability to organise internally within the union - through caucusing and networking - to win the union to this agenda

- the ability to negotiate, most obviously with employers but also with other unions and the government

- the skills to communicate in the forums of mass meetings, committees and one-to-ones

- the skills to inspire and motivate members

- the skills to manage the personnel and finances of the organisation

- the ability to know how far to push in a dispute as well as to know when to settle

Gall points out that a combination of education, training and practical experience is required to develop these all round skills. Over the past decade UNISON and the TUC have established a programme of leadership training for union activists and officials: