Union Reps Stage 1 Certificate

TUC Education's Union Reps Stage 1 is the essential course for workplace union reps and stewards. Find out what it means to be a union rep, how to represent our members effectively and how to take up both collective and individual issues with your employer. You will also think about the future and how to influence where it is taking you and those you represent.

The course helps union representatives to understand their role and responsibilities as a rep. They include working together with members and other union reps; talking to members and dealing with their problems; recruiting members and getting them involved in the union; meeting management to discuss a range of issues at work and keeping members informed about wider union concerns.

Who is this course for?

This is the basic course for union reps. It introduces the key concepts and provides a thorough foundation for workplace representatives to develop their skills to enable them to carry out their role effectively.

How long is the course?

This course will take 60 hours to complete.

What will the course help me to do?

The course will help you:

  • understand the job of the union rep in the workplace and the wider union
  • use and make agreements
  • represent members in discussions with employers
  • understand how grievances and disciplinaries are handled
  • understand rights at work
  • build confidence in your role and responsibilities as a union rep
  • develop the skills you need to be an effective rep.

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 (pdf).

You can also 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.

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.

How much is the course?

There are no course fees for union reps from TUC affiliated unions.

Further information

If you require any further information about this course, please contact your TUC Regional Education Officer.

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Last modified: Monday, 19 January 2015, 11:32 AM