Training For Branch Activists

trade union studies

Your Rights to Training As  A Union Rep

Don’t forget that as a trade unionist you have long established rights to paid time off for TUC training:

  • Section 168 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation)Act 1992 says that an employer must “permit” a reasonable amount of paid time off during working hours to an employee who is an official of a recognised trade union, for training in aspects of industrial relations concerned with negotiations or the performance of any functions agreed with your employer – provided that the training is approved by the TUC or your trade union.
  • Regulation 4 (2) of the Safety Reps and Safety Committees Regulations 1977 says that an employer has to “permit” a trade union appointed Safety Representative to take such time off with pay “as shall be necessary” to undergo such training “as would be reasonable”. The Code of Practice says that the training facilities should be approved by the TUC or trade union, and that further training should be undertaken where there are special responsibilities, or to meet changes in circumstances or relevant legislation.
  • Section 43 of the Employment Act 2002 gives certified Union Learning Representatives the right to paid time off for training which has been approved by the TUC or your union, to develop your skills and competencies.

The ACAS Code of Practice on Time Off For Trade Union Duties and Activities (2003) gives further guidance.

Courses For Stewards/Health & Safety Representatives

It is a requirement under the ERA Regulations that all newly appointed stewards and those officers whose role includes the representation of members must undertake the Union Representatives Stage 1 Training Course (see below).  This must be completed within 2 years of appointment.

All courses will be held at the Unison Regional Office Birmingham or will need to be completed on-line via the internet.

The branch must approve all application forms for training via the branch office.  Expenses can be claimed for car parking, bus travel and meals  and excess mileage above that travelled to and from work.  An expense form can be downloaded from the “Executive” section of this site under “Forms and Resources”. Please submit your form once you have completed the course, clearly stating the name of the course and dates attended.

Union Representatives Certificate:  Stage One

Ten one day sessions.

This course is for new union representatives. It will assist you to develop the skills you need to be an effective rep. Ths course will cover:

  • The job of being a union rep
  • Building union membership
  • Making the union work
  • Using and making agreements
  • Representing members
  • Grievance and discipline
  • Your rights and negotiating at work
  • Equal opportunities at work
  • Developing your skills and confidence

Union Representatives Stage 2 – Certificate In Employment Law

Ten one day sessions.

Employment law in the UK is changing. TUC Education has introduced a new certificate course to enable union reps to prepare for these changes in the best way possible.

The new course is designed for union reps who have already completed the TUC Stage 1 Union Reps course or its union equivalent.  It is a practical training course that approaches the law, including the 2013-2014 changes, from a workplace perspective and its principal concern is how knowledge and confidence in using employment law can improve workplace bargaining. The course will develop your ability to use the law in representational, organising and collective bargaining situations.

Union Reps 3 – Diploma In Employment Law

Thirty six one day sessions.

A must for all senior/experienced reps.

The course provides guided learning through which the learner may become more effective as a workplace representative. it:

  • Promotes an understanding of trade union approach to employment law
  • Deepens and extends the capacities of reps, enabling them to access full-time officer posts or Higher Education opportunities
  • Widens and deepens understanding of trade union and workplace issues and offers new up to date detail of new development
  • Develops personal/study skills, the ability to work collectively
  • Generally improves the confidence of learners to study at a higher level

There are 3 subject modules:

  • The changing nature of law
  • Employment law and the individual
  • Trade unions and collective rights

Health & Safety – Stage One

Ten one day sessions.

This course focuses on 4 key areas:

  • The role and function of a trade union health and safety representative
  • Organising for health and safety
  • Preventing accidents and ill health
  • Key skills for trade union health and safety representatives

Health & Safety –  Stage 2

Ten one day sessions

This course will focus on further developing confidence, experience, knowledge and skills.

  • Identifying, preventing and controlling risks to build a safer and healthier workplace
  • Involving members more in health and safety issues and developing a collective approach to health and safety
  • Ensuring that an equal opportunities approach to health and safety at work is adopted
  • Finding out information about the law and using it more effectively
  • Keeping up to date on health and safety law and information
  • Getting things done and effecting changes in health and safety in the workplace

Diploma In Occupational Health & Safety

Thirty six one day sessions.

This course developes an understanding of health and safety principles and practice and deepens and extends the capacities of reps, enabling them to access full-time offier posts and Higher Education opportunities.

The TUC Diploma in Occupational Safety and Health at OCN Level 3 is accredited to meet the academic requirements for IOSH Technician Safety Practitioner membership.

The three subject units are:

  • Occupational health, safety, welfare and the environment
  • Occupational health and safety organisation
  • Occupational health and safety law

The study skills units include:

  • Communication and study skills
  • ICT
  • Working with figures
  • Working with statistics
  • Research Project

For further information email the branch office

trade union studies


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