In a first for the CSP, trade union training officer Helen Russell represented the society at a prestigious meeting of UK and German trade unions in Berlin.
Across the two-day event in late November, Ms Russell contributed to discussions with delegates, who included TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady.
‘The event enabled us to increase our international profile,’ said Ms Russell about the British-German Trade Union Forum. Held annually, it aims to create a better understanding of workplace issues and build solidarity across national borders.
During sessions on the ‘future of work’, the discussion turned to the positive and negative effects of technology n the workplace. Delegates agreed that unions needed to influence the direction of digital adoption, so that it has a positive effect on staff and services.
Ms Russell told the event that there is no single model for digital organising, but that the CSP’s digital offerings, such as its new website, iCSP and Twitter feed, were found to be useful by many of its members.
Speaking to Frontline, she said that German trade unions had yet to develop digital training for their members. Meanwhile, unions in the UK were further ahead and able to offer tips to their German colleagues.
These tips included the CSP’s delivery of eBites, the society’s series of online training packages for stewards and safety reps. eBites makes training easily available to users and accessible at a time that suits them.
‘The forum enabled me to raise the profile of physiotherapy and healthcare-related issues,’ said Ms Russell. ‘I think this was particularly important because many unions, particularly those in Germany are industry-focused.’
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