Economics for Unionists Intensive

It seems that so many trade union campaigns inevitably confront the same challenge: namely, we are told that our proposals (for improving pay and conditions, for better public services and stronger communities, for environmental protection) are “just not economically viable”. Trade unionists need to be able to argue confidently and convincingly that our proposals have economic merit, and can in fact strengthen economic performance and well-being. That’s why trade unionists must learn about economics – from a unionist’s perspective.

This 2-day intensive version of the Economics for Unionists courses provides a basic overview of economic theory and policy, to assist participants to analyse and respond to standard economic debates regarding competitiveness, the costs and benefits of private and public sector activity, the economic effects of unions and collective bargaining, productivity and more.


A course textbook will be provided. The course also features supplementary readings, videos and online resources, hands-on student exercises, and guest speakers.

Aims

  • To give participants understanding of fundamental economic concepts
  • To explore the link between economic debates and theories, and the workplace

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, participants will have been introduced to, and be more confident in discussing:

  • Major economics concepts and arguments
  • Theories of the role of labour in the economy
  • Alternative approaches to economic policy

About the Trainer
The trainer for the course is Dr Jim Stanford, Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work, at the Australia Institute. Dr Stanford worked for over 20 years as Economist and Director of Policy with Unifor, Canada's largest private sector union (formerly Canadian Auto Workers). He has designed and taught numerous courses on economics for trade union members in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA.

Note
The ACTU Organising Centre also offers a 5-day version of this course, that covers broader range of economic topics in more depth. See the Economics for Unionists course for further information.