Trade unions

Trade unions are part of civil society. They represent their members’ interests in relation to employers and the state.

Although the primary responsibility of trade unions is not international development, DFID works with trade unions in the UK and abroad on achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

DFID provides funding for trade unions in a number of ways:

  1. The Development Awareness Fund
  2. The UK Trades Union Congress (TUC) Strategic Grant Agreement, which supports development awareness among affiliated unions. Since 2003, the TUC has implemented two strategic agreements funded by DFID that aim to build the capacity of UK trade unions to further international development. The most recent Strategic Framework Partnership Arrangement ran until June 2009.
  3. The Civil Society Challenge Fund (CSCF). This is open to UK-based trade unions that support project work with sister organisations in developing countries. The Global Network Project, which is funding a project between the UK trade union UNISON and SOLIDAR, is one recipient of the CSCF.
  4. The Partnership Programme Arrangements (PPA). In June 2009, a two-year PPA was agreed between the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and DFID. This arrangement follows on from a Strategic Framework Partnership Agreement which was agreed in 2006.

Since 2005 UK trade unions have met the Secretary of State three times a year to discuss development policy.


Last updated: 01 Jun 2010