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OMG: Actually Organising!


Since landing here  in SERTUC from planet Not-A-Clue in January I have been keeping myself very busy but often with the nagging impression of achieving  little. 

 This doesn’t reflect particularly badly on me.  According to everyone I’ve asked, this is normal for project work.

A lot of the early period has been taken up with mapping and then with planning and then finally with getting permission to put the plans into action. At regional level in the TUC  permission takes time. You ask your own manager, then a regional  secretary of an affiliated union and then a union branch.  You either do all this before getting near any workers or you build up contacts with workers in parallel and take the risk that this work will be wasted time if permission is refused.

All this stuff is important and especially so for me! I arrived here with no contacts and no reputation to draw on which poses obvious problems for an organiser.  Organising is essentially the art of getting other people to do things. Clearly you can’t get people to do things if you don’t know any  people or if the people you do know have no reason to listen to you!

For me, the mapping period has been an opportunity  to carve out my little foot hold in the movement as much as anything else.

However useful and nessacary this period is however, it is still the case that it doesn’t quite seem like forward motion. You can’t see anything tangible being achieved. You prepare for a plan that is as yet untested. And if you’re like me: you worry that the plan may not work.

It is therefore with great relief and satisfaction that i can now report the following:

Today I began to organise: I phoned people up, contacts i have made, and I asked them to do something, together, for their union. And they agreed.

There it is: Progress is being made. Onwards and Upwards!

© Trades Union Congress 2007