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 (NSWTF) 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 coalitions.
International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management – Inderscience Publishers
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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