The government has awarded grants worth £2.8m from the Union Modernisation Fund to 28 projects.
The fund was set up two years ago to help trade unions adapt to a changing labour market and modern workplaces, and to provide examples of best practice for other unions to follow.
The second round of grants include cash intended to:
- Help unions to adapt to increasing diversity in the workplace
- Improve communication within unions
- Support development of union representatives to promote equality
- Apply modern management methods to unions.
Employment relations minister Pat McFadden said: “Although disputes are often what makes the news, unions can and do help bring constructive employment relations, and help members manage their working lives.
“Like many businesses, unions can benefit from targeted support to keep pace with the rapidly changing economic and employment landscape.”
Leeds University Business School will provide a final independent evaluation of the fund in late 2008.
Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary, said: “British business gets direct public spending support every year. This welcome support for the latest union projects will help provide a quality service in the modern world of work.”
Earlier this week, prime minister Gordon Brown said he would inject a further £3m into the Union Learning Fund, which aims to help unions open up a wide range of learning opportunities for their members.