About this course
Times of Corona are times of change. Hence, post-Corona is not only a crisis, but also a moment to explore new pathways for our societies towards greater equity, environmental sustainability and democratic participation.
This FREE online course brings together academics, trade unionists, human and labour rights advocates and policy makers from around the world to discuss policy solutions to the most pressing issues exposed by Covid-19. It also offers the opportunity to discuss an agenda for change.
The course consists of:
Focused video lectures by international experts from academia, trade unions and civil society at large;
Key readings selected by the experts;
Discussion and quiz questions to help the course participants to reflect how the knowledge received through the lectures applies to their local context;
Zoom workshops for each unit to enable course participants to engage directly with the course experts. These can be accessed under "Additional materials" section of each unit.
Thematic webinars on the main topics of this course featuring international experts. Four webinars were held during the period June-July 2020:
Webinar 1: Covid 19: Lessons for health care systems with Rosa Pavanelli and Philip Alston. Watch the webinar here
Webinar 2: Income security: Protecting people, saving economies with Mirai Chatterjee and Patrick Belser. Watch the webinar here
Webinar 3: Financing the recovery: Can governments spend as much as needed? with Jayati Gosh and Wolfgang Schmidt. Watch the webinar here
Webinar 4: Recovering and redirecting: Labour's post-Corona priorities with Stephen Cotton and James Ritchie. Watch the webinar here
What will I learn?
The course participants in this course will get a labour perspective on the main challenges and systemic deficiencies exposed by Covid-19 and on debates policy solutions to such challenges. In particular, the course would help them to acquire a deeper understanding of the underlying barriers to comprehensive and universal health and social protection systems, as well as policy proposal to address and overcome such barriers. They will also learn more about policy debates on how to finance the emergency measures and the recovery towards services and infrastructure, which meets basic human needs and rights. Finally, completing the course and attending the webinars will help the course participants to effectively communicate the acquired knowledge during this course.
What do I need to know?
The course requires a working level of English. It draws on the fields of social, political and economic sciences at the level of a Masters’ programme. However, the concepts are explained in an accessible and well-illustrated way, so it is also possible to participate in the course using skills and knowledge acquired outside formal education.
The estimated workload is 5-6 hours per week if you read also the key reading for each unit.
Certificates and Scholarships
You can enrol and complete this course for FREE.
If you wish, you can also obtain a Certificate of Participation. This Certificate is an official document issued by iversity, which states that you have participated in the course. It contains your name, the time when you took the course, a short information about the course content and the logo of the GLU and iversity.
Requirements to obtain a Certificate of participation
You need to complete the course before you can purchase a Certificate of Participation, which costs 29€. To complete the course, you need to watch all the videos, respond to the quiz questions of each video and read the chapter summaries.
If you are from a non-OECD country or a trade unionist from an OECD country, you can apply for a scholarship, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating your organisation and the country you are from. Please complete the course before applying for a scholarship.
How to use course materials?
You can organise a local workshop on the topics of the course combining the course materials with local experts from trade unions, labour research institutes and universities.
If you work for a university, trade union or any other labour-related institution you are welcome to integrate the course material into your education and training programmes. All video lectures and interviews, readings, online resources, and exercises can be downloaded separately and used for free.
Course structure and content
Chapter 1: Course introduction
Here, the course participants will be introduced to the online platform and its interactive features. They will get a general overview of the key challenges exposed by Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on workers and their families.
Chapter 2: Resilient health systems: Responding to pandemics and beyond
The focus of Chapter 2 is on the health systems – which have been at the center of debates during the pandemic. After a discussion on some of the main weaknesses of health systems exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the chapter sums up the main lessons of the pandemic and puts forward some key policy proposals to strengthen health systems and make them more resilient. Special focus is given to the critical issue of health workers who are critical to achieving universal health care.
Chapter 3: Income support and social protection for all workers
In this chapter, the emphasis is on another immediate policy issue, that of income security and social protection systems. The arguments about income insecurity and weak social protection exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, is complemented with a discussion on the impact on two major groups of workers – self-employed informal workers and (formal and informal) workers in global supply chains. This is followed by lectures on existing and potential policy responses to address the dire situation of these workers through building comprehensive and resilient social protection systems as well as strengthening wage systems. The chapter concludes by emphasising the need for a gender perspective in all the policies related to social protection and wage-determination systems.
Chapter 4: Securing emergency funding and financing recovery
This chapter looks at the main challenges for countries in the global North and global South to finance the pandemic emergency and the economic recovery. This is followed by a discussion on the role of international financial institutions and policies such as debt cancellation to increase the financial space in the Global South. This discussion is complemented with a debate on debt cancellation for sustainable development as well as possible policy measures for countries in the South to strengthen the policy space to respond to the pandemic. Finally, the case of South Africa is used to illustrate some of these challenges and policy measures
Chapter 5: Redirecting the economy towards a socially and environmentally sustainable future
The final chapter discusses the way forward by emphasising the importance of reorienting the economy and society towards greater equity, environmental sustainability and democratic participation. The example of a green transformation for the transport industry is used to illustrate the challenges as well as the policy implications of reorienting the economy. This includes issues of long-term financing for such transformations, solidarity and coalition building coalitions within and across nations.
Dr. Jeremy Anderson, Head of Strategic Research, International Transport Workers’ Federation
Prof. Dr. Mark Anner, Associate Professor of Labor and Employment Relations, and Political Science, Penn State University, USA
Baba Aye, Health and Social Services Officer, Public Services International
Leo Baunach, Director, International Trade Union Confederation/Global Unions Washington Office
Marlese von Broembsen, Director of the Law Programme, Women in the Informal Economy, Globalising and Organising
Dr. Bruno De Conti, Lecturer, Institute of Economics, University of Campinas, Brazil.
Ruth Castel-Branco, Research Manager, Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, Wits University
Aleksandra Draganic, International Center for Development and Decent Work, University of Kassel, Germany
Prof. Dr. Trevor Evans, Professor Emeritus, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany
David Francis, Deputy Director, Southern Centre for Inequality Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
Mirko Herberg, Coordinator, Global Trade Union Programme, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Dr. Frank Hoffer, Non-executive Director, Global Labour University Online Academy
Prof. Dr. Hansjörg Herr, Professor Emeritus, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany
Prof. Dr. Praveen Jha, Professor for Economics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Tendai Makanza, Regional Officer, IndustriALL Global Union, Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Office
Dr. Sulakshana Nandi, Co-Chair, People's Health Movement Global
Dr. Nicolas Pons-Vignon, Acting Director of the Corporate Strategy and Industrial Development Programme, University of the Witwatersrand
Angelo Salento, Associate Professor of Economic and Labour Sociology, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy
Prof. Dr. Christoph Scherrer, Professor for Globalization and Politics, Social Science Department of the University of Kassel, Germany
Prof. Dr. Martina Sproll, Professor for Social Sciences, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany
Prof. Karel Williams, Professor of Accounting and Political Economy, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Prof. Dr. Markus Wissen, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Germany
Dr. Edlira Xhafa, Executive Director, Global Labour University Online Academy