Branch Activists and Lay Member Education & Training
Education and training is essential if the branch is to have active representatives and a fully represented and informed membership. To achieve this a number of courses are on offer provided by UNISON and other providers of training to trade unionists.
Some of these are designed specifically for our activists and some for the lay members. All are enjoyable, informative and give the opportunity to meet members of other branches of UNISON and other trade unions and share experiences.
Leeds UNISON runs in-house training courses for UNISON Stewards. Legislation states that training must be undertaken by Stewards to enable you to fulfil your role as a Steward, and you also need to undergo training to become a fully accredited UNISON Steward. If you haven’t already attended the courses below please do consider attending – they are free and we apply for your paid time off.
UNISON Stewards Induction Course
The UNISON Stewards Induction Course is a short course designed to give Stewards an understanding of how the Branch works, the background to UNISON’s aims and policies, and the role of the Steward in representing members and dealing with Management.
If you are a new Steward, or one who has not received formal branch Stewards training, the Stewards Induction Course would be an excellent starting point in your training.
UNISON Stewards Refresher Training
This course is for Stewards who have previously completed the Stewards Induction Course but more than 5 years ago.
UNISON Regional courses are run throughout the year and are either residential or non-residential depending on the duration of the course and the subject content. The full programme can be viewed on the Regional website at www.unison-yorks.org.uk following the link to the Education Programme and application forms can be downloaded. Or you can talk to someone in the Regional Education Office by calling 0800 0857 857 or contact the Branch Office on 0113 245 8442. Some UNISON courses are run on a national basis and details can be found at www.unison.org.uk and follow the link to Learning And Organising Services.
Leeds City College, Leeds – Department of Trade Union Studies and Bradford College – Trade Union Studies Centre provide similar courses organised by the TUC. These courses vary in duration from one or two days to a year depending on the subject. Both Centres have the courses timetabled to run in terms and some are run in each term. Full details can be obtained from the Branch Office on 0113 245 8442. Other courses for activists are provided by other organisations such as the Northern College and the branch often sends delegates to other training events on specialist topics. Note that some of these may require and overnight stay.
For Lay Members
Lay members are members of UNISON who do not hold any activist position but who are interested in the activities of UNISON with respect to the rank and file membership. Most of these courses are provided by the Region and apply in the main to those members who identify with one of the four Self Organised Groups (SOGs) – Black members, Disabled members, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender members or Women members. Details can be viewed on the Regional website at www.unison-yorks.org.uk following the link to the Education Programme and application forms can be downloaded. Or you can talk to someone in the Regional Education Office by ringing 0800 0857 857 or contact the Branch Office on 0113 245 8442.
How To Apply
All applications for courses must be submitted via the Branch Office as they have to be agreed by the Branch. Approved applications will be then forwarded on your behalf to the appropriate training provider and copies kept by the Branch Office in case of query and so that a record of activist training can be maintained. Note that applications that have not been agreed are often returned and this can delay a place on a course being confirmed or accepted. Applications should be returned as early as possible to the Branch Office at:
Geoff Hodgson House
160a Woodhouse Lane
Leeds LS2 9EN
All courses are free to members as courses costs are paid by the Branch. Any travel or subsistence expenses are paid in accordance with the branch’s policy. Details can be obtained from the Branch Office on 0113 245 8442.
Crèche facilities are not always provided on training courses so check beforehand with the training provider. Any care arrangements are the responsibility of the member undertaking training.