Community Work Matters

The Community and Youth Workers’ Union is the only specialist trade union in the community work field. We believe that the values underpinning community work and activism are identical to those underpinning the trade union movement. Organising collectively outside and inside the workplace are complementary aspects of civil society. We also believe that good industrial relations in work are a pre requisite to organising affective projects. The better that staff are treated at work, the better the environment in which social justice work can take place. Trade unions and community groups both share concerns for equality and extending the democratic franchise and re distributing wealth.

Full, part time and volunteers all have an equal place in CYWU and many of our National Executive Committee members are practising community workers.

CYWU seeks to promote community work throughout the trade union movement and has contributed a lot of thinking in this area. In 1998 we moved the first ever motion to a TUC Congress on Community Work. The text of this is printed below. We have also produced a range of specialist support publications to help community projects and staff.

We hope you will contact us on 0121 244 3344 for further discussion.

Motion passed at TUC Congress 1998.

Moved by Community and Youth Workers’ Union Seconded by the Institution of Professionals Managers and Specialists

Community Work and New Unionism.


1. Congress welcomes the recent TUC research looking at that attitudes of young people to trade unions and the organisations in the community in which they participate and how trade unions may consider these for promoting membership.

2. Congress notes the fact that millions of adults, including many trade unionists, and young people are involved in community organisations to promote collective interests on issues, or advance the social, educational and environmental conditions of residents within neighbourhoods.

3. Congress believes that such organisations share common values, democratic ways of working and aspirations with the trade union movement and that further partnership with the organisations in this sector would be desirable.

4. Congress further notes that several trade unions are broadening their scope to become recognised as community based and relevant.
Congress therefore resolves to call on the General Council to take appropriate advice from affiliates in order to contact the bona fide national organisations in community work and the Local Government Association with a view to initiating discussions on shared concerns and areas of future joint working.

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