Tag Archives: worker cooperatives

Crash Course in Democratic Management

Co-sponsored by the Murphy Institute’s Community and Worker Ownership Project (CWOP) and The Democracy at Work Institute (DAWI)

The course will be held Friday, March 9 from 9:00 am-5:00 pm and Saturday, March 10 from 9:00 am-1:00 pm, all in English.

Registration deadline: Monday, March 5, 2018 at 5:00 pm.

The Democracy at Work Institute and US Federation of Worker Cooperatives are hosting a Democratic Management Crash Course for managers/management teams of worker coops, including those recently converted or in the process of converting, established coops, and start ups.

This free 1.5 day hands-on course will cover the basics of what makes a democratic workplace, and will help you answer questions like, “Who makes that decision?”, “Which numbers should I share?”, “How do we practice accountability?”.

We strongly encourage you to register for the free 60 min Management Skills Check-Up Webinar in advance of the crash course. You can register here for the next webinar, scheduled for Thursday, February 15 from 12:00-1:00 pm Eastern.

Collective Accountability and Evaluation Systems Workshop

This workshop is open to non-members, pre-launch startups, and developers as well.

Register: Free Tickets Here

In this workshop, worker-owners will learn tools and techniques to form systems of accountability and evaluation.  Worker-owners will learn about and have a chance to practice, giving and receiving feedback, self-evaluation, peer-to-peer accountability, and client feedback.  By the end of the workshop, worker-owners will be able to implement accountability systems in their coops that can reduce or prevent interpersonal conflict, improve morale and job satisfaction, and increase the coops’s efficiency.

Facilitated by Vanessa Bransburg (DAWI)

Título: Responsabilidad colectiva y sistemas de evaluación en cooperativas de trabajadores

Fecha: Jueves, 20 de Octubre de 6:30 -9: 30, 136 Lawrence St. Brooklyn NY 11201

Registrese: Boletos Gratis Aqui

En este taller, los dueños-trabajadores aprenderán herramientas y técnicas para formar sistemas de rendición de cuentas y evaluación. Dueños-trabajadores tendrán la oportunidad de aprender y practicar, como dar y recibir critica constructiva,  como autoevaluar, como crear rendición de cuentas entre pares, y recibir critica constructiva de parte de clientes. Hacia el final del taller, los dueños-trabajadores serán capaces de poner en práctica sistemas de rendición de cuentas en sus propias cooperativas ayundando reducir o prevenir los conflictos interpersonales, mejorar la moral y la satisfacción en el trabajo, e incrementar la eficiencia de las cooperativas.

Facilitado por Vanessa Bransburg (DAWI)

Read online.

Announcing: the Murphy Institute Community and Worker Ownership Project

The Murphy Institute has a strong history of helping students and workers understand how to improve their lives at work and in their communities. To that end, we are pleased to announce the launch of a new project at CUNY at the Murphy Institute, Community and Worker Ownership Project (CWOP).

In this age of burgeoning inequality and pervasive challenges to political and workplace democracy, this project seeks to support undertakings in worker-owned cooperatives and worker participation and control, as well as grassroots leadership in community development.

Help us create a program that meets the needs of our community by participating in the CWOP Engagement Survey.

The CWOP intends to serve in these five areas:

Training and workshops

Bring non-credit courses and workshops to CUNY sites for existing and potential cooperative worker/owners

College degrees and certifications

Design credit courses, certificates and degree programs with scholars to expand education options for economic democracy and cooperative ownership

Business conversions and start-up

Support expansion of coop businesses with organized labor, worker centers, community based organizations and industry sectors

Public programming

Host and sponsor forums and conferences or serve as a speaker


Initiate or share in research to evaluate economic and social justice impact of cooperative ownership and democratic engagement

Get involved!

You may be interested in learning more or participating in developing the work with us. You may have ideas or interests that can help grow the movement for economic democracy in your sphere of influence and impact and we can help. We want to hear from you!

Want to make the program as effective and useful as possible? Fill out our survey today to help shape the CWOP!

Email Rebecca Lurie at Rebecca<dot>Lurie<at>cuny<dot>edu to share your thoughts or ideas or to express your interest in this project.

Photo: Sergey Galyonkin CC-BY-SA

Damayan Cleaning Cooperative: From Labor Trafficking to Worker Ownership

On the Laura Flanders Show this week, Damayan Cleaning Cooperative, the first Filipina migrant worker-cooperative in the United States had a chance to tell their story. Comprised primarily of survivors of labor trafficking, these cooperative members have created dignified, democratic livelihoods for themselves by starting a cleaning cooperative.

This work connects to Damayan Migrant Workers Association‘s work resisting labor trafficking. Learn more about this inspiring work in the short video below.

Video via Laura Flanders Show used via Creative Commons license

Event: Solidarity Economies & Worker Coops (12/4)

December 4, 8:30 -10:30am
The Murphy Institute
25 W. 43 Street, 18 Floor

The local movement of worker cooperatives, supported by the City Council, has increasingly caught the imagination of workers and organizers.  What is the potential and what are the limitations of worker co-ops in building a movement for economic and social justice? To what extent does the co-op model enable working people to create secure jobs with decent pay and dignity, and, in doing so, begin to envision a new economy?  What is the nature of organized labor’s role in this new movement?


  • Amy B Dean, Editorial Board Member, New Labor Forum; Fellow, The Century Foundation; Co-author, A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement
  • Roger Green, Director, Dubois-Bunche Center on Public Policy, Medgar Evers College; collaborating on a conversion of hospitals to cooperative ownership models
  • Adria Powell, Executive Vice President, Cooperative Home Care Associates
  • Melissa Risser, Attorney, Urban Justice Center’s Community Development Project; co-founder of 1worker1vote.org

What is Worker Cooperative Development?

Want more on worker cooperatives, solidarity economies, and the role of organized labor? Join us at the Murphy Institute on December 4th for our upcoming Labor Breakfast Forum, Solidarity Economies: Worker Coops.

This article originally appeared at Grassroots Economic Organizing.

By Christopher Michael

In the 1980s, the British government supported a comprehensive system of local worker cooperative support organizations (CSOs). The first CSO was formed in Scotland in 1976. By 1986, approximately 100 CSOs spotted the country — with higher concentrations in urban areas. About 80 of these CSOs were funded — mostly by local municipalities — with full-time staff at an average of three employees. In tandem, Parliament chartered a national “Co-operative Development Agency” with a 1978 bill — which aided the growth of local CSOs, served as a “safety net” for regions without CSOs, collected statistics, and acted as government liaison with regard to new legislation.

These government-funded support organizations engaged primarily with low-income, ethnic minority, and female entrepreneurs. CSO staff members provided training courses on worker cooperatives, direct technical assistance, and also loan financing at an average of $50,000 (current U.S. dollars) per worker cooperative. This ten-year experiment produced approximately 2,000 new worker cooperatives — and almost none exist today. Continue reading What is Worker Cooperative Development?