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Learning and Organising Course Programme

Education 2016
Course programme with all the course details PDF

NEW for 2016
Core Stewared Programme
Core Stewards Programme - all the main stewards courses in one booklet PDF

Course calendar 2016
A course programme wall calendar for easy reference PDF




Welcome to the UNISON Scotland's stewards and workplace reps training programme for 2016.

Following a review of last year's training and a survey of local branch requirements for 2016, the Learning and Organising committee has designed a comprehensive and professional development and training programme to meet the needs and demands of our newly elected stewards, workplace representatives and union activists.

This year's programme has been adapted to take account of a request for more flexibility on the days on which courses are run and has prioritised the courses that our members and activists have identified as their primary priorities.

We have continued to include variety and specialist courses to empower our active members with the knowledge which will help them build personal confidence and provide them with the ability to challenge and tackle bad practices in the workplace.

Our programme acknowledges the threats that lie ahead for the union in the form of the Government's union reforms, which threaten to drastically curb union activity and put both civil rights and industrial relations at risk, and the ongoing onslaught of austerity cuts on public services.

Training and education is vital to the professional development of our activists, By gaining new knowledge and skills, and connecting with other activists in a learning environment, the movement as a whole is strengthened.

Training significantly contributes to an organising union, the wisdom that it brings develops strong voices which in turn create organisational strength.

For those of you who are looking at this brochure and wondering if you will be allowed by your employer to participate in the wonderful educational opportunities that are available, the Learning and Organising committee would like to remind everyone - that every trade union representative working for an employer where the trade union is recognised for collective bargaining has a legal right to paid release from work to carry out duties and activities relevant to their role.

They also have legal rights to attend training relevant to those duties and activities - source ACAS Code of Practice 3 (2010) - Time off for Trade Union duties and activities.

If you want to help to address inequality and unfairness, to improve terms and conditions, to fight for a living wage or just simply make a positive difference in your workplace. It's time...



Lawrence Hunter Chair, Learning and Organising Committee

Further information from Nancy Kelly on n.kelly@unison.co.uk
or Activist Education (Scotland)
01463 715891



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For information, advice and support re:
*The regional training programme for activists and members
*Learning at work
Space*Individual or branch training needs
Please contact
Nancy Kelly
Regional Organiser Education

Activist Education (Scotland)
01463 715891





Your Branch is the first point of contact if you wish to apply for a UNISON or TUC-run course. Application forms for all courses will need to be signed by a Branch Officer - usually the Branch Secretary or Branch Education Officer.

If you are looking for a particular course which is not listed in this programme, please contact your Branch who can discuss the development and delivery of new courses with the Regional Organiser - Education.

Some Branches deliver courses in tandem with this Regional Training Programme - contact your Branch who will be able to advise you on the course most suitable to your needs.

Your Branch should have a Branch Development and Organising Plan, which will look at the training needs of activists and members. Some courses run most successfully at Branch level - these courses include:

  • Pathways (encouraging women members into activism)
  • Pathways into Equal Pay (encouraging women into activism through equal pay)
  • Recruitment (assisting the Branch in recruiting new members and new activists)
  • One Step Ahead (aimed at experienced activists who haven't attended training for around four years)



UNISON has seven service groups - Local Government, Health, Energy, Police, Higher Education, Transport, Water & Environment. The Learning & Organising Committee work with the service groups to look at training needs for members and activists around the negotiating and bargaining agenda.

Although service groups will offer training specifically for the needs of their members, they will also work together to provide cross-service group training. This will allow the best possible training, sharing knowledge and experience in the widest sense possible.

Service groups would like to encourage members to approach them with suggestions for training. These suggestions along with national issues, will be shared at regular meetings with representatives from the Learning & Organising Committee where future training needs will be agreed.

Cross-service training may include the following courses:

  • Job Evaluation and Job Evaluation Appeals
  • Introduction to Equal Pay
  • Agenda for Change
  • Absence Management
  • Equality Duty
  • Campaigning