Call to Affiliates for Digital Rights Organisers

PSI is launching a new 3-year project “Our Digital Future” aimed at empowering unions in the digital world of work. We are now seeking affiliates who would be interested in becoming what we call ‘Digital Rights Organisers’. They will be the central hub that builds each region’s digital competencies and networks.

Read more about the Our Digital Future project here.

Contact your regional co-ordinator (listed below) if you have any questions or wish to express your interest in becoming a DRO. Deadline for expressing your interest is May 18 (May 12 for Asia Pacific region).

Why become a Digital Rights Organiser?

By becoming a DRO, you will receive training and mentorship over the course of the 3-year project. You will also:

  1. have a key role in building your region’s web of experts, experiences and know-how and know-what on digital issues.

  2. be part of the centre for sharing good practices, providing input to union specific information material, forming module union responses to digital workplace negotiations and political advocacy.

  3. support unions in your region and be trained to conduct training sessions of your own

  4. be the central hub for information sharing with the PSI Digital Project group.

  5. work with PSI in developing PSI’s digital work more broadly.

PSIs regional offices will be the drivers and coordinators of the DROs. Activities in addition to the training and mentorship offered in the PSI project, could include:

  • webinars with regional and global experts

  • check-in calls to share information and developments and to discuss responses

  • Written articles/blogs on the digitalisation of work and workplaces in the regions

  • audio/visual information material for regional affiliates

  • feed into PSI regional conferences and policies.

At the PSI congress, currently scheduled for the autumn of 2022, we will gather all of the regional DROs and use the occasion to have a global and regional discussion.

Who are the DROs?

In each region we are seeking a core group of 10-20 DROs. In addition to PSI staff, the group will consist of union organisers, representatives and/or secretariat staff who are actively engaged in digital issues or have a key interest in them and want to learn more. Maybe your union has developed digital strategies? Or are including digitally specific articles in collective bargaining? Or your union is worried about the digital changes it faces and wants to get prepared.

Complementing the core group, trusted civil society activists and academics can be invited to participate in the meetings and workshops. It is important that DROs are interested in, and available to the project on the long-term. Building this core group of experts requires as much consistency as possible. In each region, we are seeking a diverse group of DROs.

What will you do?

As a DRO you will participate in a number of activities - all of which take place online - except the meeting at PSI congress. See the full project plan here.

  1. A 3 x 3 hour interactive training course in June or July 2021 that includes the following:

    • in-depth information about the core of the digital economy: DATA, algorithms, AI and automation - and how they apply to public services and related professions including possible union responses

    • The futures of work in the digital economy - opportunities and pitfalls - how work is changing, skills, types of work and the need for union empowerment in digitalised workplaces and public services.

    • Introduction to practical methods and tools to spark discussion and conversation in the union family.

  2. Shorter practical exercises between modules

  3. Ongoing online check-in sessions with the Project Lead and the PSI Digital Group.

  4. Assist in the formation of the training material and workshops for the two other groups: Union Leaders, and Reps and Staff in 2022 and early 2023.

Expectations of DROs

The main expectation of the DROs is that they participate in the training and take the learning back to their union to help them develop and implement strategies to help workers deal with digitalisation issues. They might also provide advice to other unions in their region or in their language. The DROs should be able to commit to the training session in 2021, the catch up sessions in late 2021, middle of 2022, and in mid 2023, and (if possible) at the PSI Congress currently scheduled for 2022. You must also have the commitment of your union to spread and promote the acquired digital knowledge, develop and implement digital strategies in your union, and, where possible, provide assistance to other unions in the region.

Important Dates

The initial online DRO training is currently scheduled for the following times in 2021:

  • Europe/North America/Carribean: June 1, 8 and 15

  • Asia Pacific: June 2, 9 and 16

  • Latin America: 15, 22, 29 July

  • Africa and Arab Countries: (TBC) 6, 13 and 30 July

In addition, webinars/meetings for the regional DROs will take place at dates to be confirmed with participants in:

  • Nov 2021

  • June 2022

  • Oct 2022 - Congress (for all DROs)

  • April 2023 - on module articles for collective bargaining

  • June 2023 - on governance model for algorithmic systems at work

  • Sep 2023 - end seminar

Express your interest

If you are interested or wish to know more, please contact the PSI coordinator in your region:

Asia Pacific: Susana Barria

Africa and Arab countries: Daniel Oberko

North America, Canada and Caribbean: Steve Porter

Latin America: Gabriel Casnati

Europe: Richard Pond


For global questions, please contact:

Daniel Bertossa

For administrative/logistical questions:

Agustina Soto

Read More