Union Learning News

Union Learning Rep’s Report September 2012

Since being elected as Union Learning Rep in March I have been undertaking the following work as well as representing members at JCC and Sig meetings.

Point 8 Applications

If you have been turned down for point 8 and appealed invite a union rep, myself, Geraint Evans or a rep that is familiar with your area of work, to your appeal meeting. Experience shows that appeals are much more likely to succeed when the staff member has union representation.

I have requested

  • That point 8 guidance to be made available on the intranet so that staff can see  requirements in advance of the application period
  • a review of the point 8 procedures following the appeal period as only 3 out of 30 applications  were initially successful this year

No Notice Observations

At the end of the summer term the UCU was given a proposal for a new observation policy that included no notice observations, a clearer link between observation processes and capability procedures and increased teaching load for CTLs.

This new policy if introduced would be stressful, inefficient and educationally unsound. I have written a paper criticising the proposals and putting forward the case for a case for  a more positive  observation schedule that is not graded, is based upon professional development and observes lessons rather than judges individuals.

However, if management continue to push ahead with this plan we will need to come together as a union to ensure that it is not implemented.

If you would like a copy of the proposed policy or my response please email me.

Learning Committee

I am working with Professional Development to restart a learning committee. This has not met for the last two years but could be an important avenue for the union to work with the college to ensure that staff learning needs are being met. I will also be inviting UNISON to be part of the process. If you are interested in representing your section on such a committee please contact me.

Voice Training

Earlier this year the UCU nationally organised voice training for new members in London A few members went on this and found it useful but many others expressed the view that it would be useful for such a course to be held locally. I have asked the college to provide a voice training course and one will be arranged shortly. Every year teachers and lecturers are forced to give up work because of damage to their voice, do make sure you are looking after yours.

Training for Bradford College Union Reps

I have been working with the Trade Union Studies department to arrange a series of training events for UCU and UNISON reps at Bradford College. The course will explore issues around the new build and how we can maintain our members’ rights and working conditions in the transition to the new building.

Learning Survey

At the end of October you will receive a learning survey. Please fill it in and return it to me as I am seeking to establish areas for development for further discussions with the college. A pilot survey suggested some interesting results such as dissatisfaction with access to external courses amongst FE staff and dissatisfaction with internal courses amongst HE staff. However, we need a more complete survey to ensure validity and to discover other themes.

UCU and TUC courses

A variety of courses are offered by the UCU and TUC I will continue to send emails regarding any that may be of particular interest to members. Full details of UCU training courses can be found on the UCU Activist Education Programme web page (www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=3311.)

Do you need support with learning?

If you need help applying for training, need advice on courses available or feel that suitable CPD is not available to you then please contact me. Union Learning support is available for personal development as well as work based needs.

Debbie Rolls

B56 McMillan tel: 1672


Dear Colleagues,

Karen Brooks, our Training Officer has sent details of a free course offer from the TUC.

You will need approval from UCU to attend the course. For this please contact Karen atkbrooks@ucu.org.uk

There are still places available on the Diploma in Equalities Online Course which begins in September 2012.

The course is designed specifically for experienced trade union representatives whose role would benefit from a wider understanding of equality issues. The diploma also develops values and skills needed for higher level study and activism.

If you would like to register for the course please click on the following linkhttp://www.unionlearn.org.uk/education/learn-4091-f0.cfm and complete the form.

If you require any further information about this course please contact TUC Education Online e:tuceducationhelp@tuc.org.uk t: 020 7079 6929

begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 020 7079 6929 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.


Congress House

GreatRussell Street

LondonWC1B 3LS

Kind Regards,

Yasue Fadhlaoui

Equality Administrator

Equality Unit

+Universityand CollegeUnion| Carlow Street|London| NW1 7LH

‘02077562538 |*yfadhlaoui@ucu.org.uk |üwww.ucu.org.uk


TUC Diploma in Equalities Online


The Diploma is designed primarily for experienced Trade Union Reps whose role would benefit from a wider understanding of Equality Issues. It is intended to help students understand equality issues in the workplace, current equality legislation and how it can be applied in their own organisation.

Who is the course for?

The course is designed specifically for experienced trade union representatives whose role would benefit from a wider understanding of equality issues. The Diploma also develops values and skills needed for higher level study and activism.

When does the course start?

September 2012

How long is the course?

The course is delivered over 36 weeks spread over three terms.

What will the course help me to do?

The course will help you:

  • become more effective as a union representative, particular on equality issues
  • promote an understanding of trade union values and policies on equalities
  • deepen and extend the capacities of learners enabling them to apply for full-time officer posts or higher education opportunities
  • strengthen understanding of trade union and workplace issues and offer up-to-date detail of new developments in the law and policy
  • build learners’ knowledge of equality issues in the workplace
  • support learners’ ability to build workplace equality and tackle issues at work
  • develop personal/study skills, the ability to work collectively, and generally improve the confidence of learners to study at a higher level

What subjects will be studied?

The Diploma is accredited by the National Open College Network and is divided into several units – three core units and four study skills units – see below.

Equality issues at work

This module focuses on three main topics:

  • different equalities themes;
  • union and workplace policies and practices;
  • and using trade union values to build the case for equality.

This module will help you to understand:

  • the workplace in equality terms
  • different equalities themes and protected characteristics
  • union and workplace equalities and practices
  • trade union principles of equality

Equality and the law

This module focuses on two main topics:UKequality legislation andUKinstitutions and procedures for equality.

This module will help you to understand:

  • the context for legislation on equality
  • currentUKequality law
  • equality legislation and how it impacts on the workplace
  • UKinstitutions that deal with equality
  • procedures that can be used in equality cases

Working for equality

This module focuses on three main topics: equality theory and practice.

The module will help you to understand:

  • differences in the theory and practice of equality
  • development of equality policies
  • the use and value of equality tools
  • union structures and strategies in working for equality
  • the equality bargaining and campaigning agenda.

Study Skills Units

The study skills units comprise of:

Communication & Study Skills

  • read and respond to written materials
  • produce written materials
  • prepare and make a presentation to a group
  • take part in discussions and work collectively

Legal skills

  • legal reasoning in case law
  • locating and using legal resources
  • using the law in negotiating
  • employment tribunal preparation

Information Communication Technology

  • prepare and input data
  • display and present information
  • present data
  • use database, word processing and spreadsheet applications

Research Project

  • project planning
  • research skills
  • presenting the project

What are the entry requirements?

Union representatives who wish to take this course should have:

  • previously attended an Equalities Award programme or the Union Reps Stage 1 and Stepping Up Stage 2 Certificates programme; or
  • achieved a suitable equivalent to the above through their own union’s courses or from elsewhere.

Please note all applicants to the online course will be required to complete a second stage application form detailing the knowledge and experience that they have gained as a trade union rep. This will be used by tutors to assess applicants’ suitability for the course.

Achieving the Diploma

To achieve the Equalities for Trade Union Reps Diploma participants are required to:

  • successfully complete all seven modules
  • gain a total of 48 credits (27 credits from subject modules and Level 3, 21 credits from study skills modules at Level 2 or 3)

Can I get time off to learn?

Union representatives who wish to attend TUC courses in working time should first ask their employer for time off with pay. The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977 give accredited union and safety representatives a legal right to reasonable time off with pay to attend courses approved by the TUC or their union. Guidance towards establishing what constitutes reasonable time off can be found in the ACAS Code of Practice (http://www.acas.org.uk/media/pdf/l/q/CP03_1.pdf).

Representatives who find difficulty in obtaining paid time off to attend TUC courses should seek assistance from their senior union representative or full time union officer.

Can I get time off for online courses?

Online learning* should not be seen as an alternative to paid release from work. The law still applies, whether learning takes place away from work or in work, at a workstation or in a company learning centre.

How much is the course?

This course is free for all recognised union reps from TUC member unions and provided that your nomination for the course is approved by your trade union.

Further Information

If you require any further information about this course, please contact: TUC Education Online e: tuceducationhelp@tuc.org.uk t: 020 7079 6929 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE 020 7079 6929 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

How do I apply?

If you are interested in this course, please complete the online form using the link below.

Please note that the Diploma courses require a lot of study time and commitment. Therefore we recommend you only apply for one diploma course at a time. If you are unsure which course is suitable for you, please contact your Regional Education Officer.

Proceed to online application form

Apply for the online course

Briefing document (1,000 words) issued 28 Jun 2011


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