UNISON provides education and training opportunities for stewards, branch officers and members. UNISON Learning and Organisation Services (LAOS) co-ordinates trade union education and life-long learning opportunities for members. This includes training and development for union reps as well as personal and career development courses ranging from Skills for Life through to professional qualifications. We also offer learning discounts and a small educational grants scheme.
Training for New Stewards
UNISON offers a comprehensive training programme for stewards and has developed a new 5 day training course which incorporates the following:
- New Stewards Training
- Handling Grievances and Disciplinaries
These courses are usually organised and facilitated by staff from the Regional Office. Once trained, stewards continue to have the support and guidance from Branch Officers and the Regional Officer.
Dates for new steward training courses are available from the Branch Office.
Other Training for Stewards
Each year, UNISON Northern Region offers an education programme aimed at building on the union’s strengths, assisting our activists to become skilled and confident in taking on their responsibilities. Courses include:
- Health and Safety Reps Training
- Union Learning Reps Training
- Presentation Skills
- Race Equality
- Stress in the Workplace
- Building Confidence and Assertiveness Skills
- Negotiating Skills
- Employment Law Updates
Please contact the Branch Office or telephone 03000 263300 for further details on all available courses. Alternatively contact Duncan Rothwell, Regional Officer at UNISON’s Regional Office in Newcastle on telephone 0191 245 0800.
Grants and Bursaries
The purpose of the scheme is to provide financial help to UNISON members on the trade union and labour studies courses, and to help members in general non-vocational education.
There is no support available for vocational courses or professional updating courses. It is appreciated that for many this will be a disappointment, but with limited funds available the NEC decided that support should be concentrated on those areas directly related to the Trade Union Movement or to improve general education. There are four types of award available: bursary, flexible bursary, Open University award and book grant. An explanation of each of these is given below. The UNISON Rule Book sets out the following general qualification and conditions for receipt of an award:
- Membership of UNISON for at least 4 weeks prior to the member applying for the grant concerned
- No arrears of subscription
- The member continues to pay all membership subscriptions required throughout the time that they are in education and training supported by the award, unless the NEC dispenses with this requirement in her/his case
- A member will only be entitled to one award in any one year up to a maximum of 4 awards
- Application forms must be endorsed by the Branch Secretary or Branch Education Officer to confirm membership
- No grant will be paid for any course which is also offered by or similar to one offered by UNISON Open college, eg Dip / Degree Health Care Practice.