A Message to Unite Members

Dear Colleague,

I am pleased to welcome you to the 2020/2021 Education Programme. Inside you will find a wide range of courses that are available in the London & Eastern region for Workplace Reps, Health and Safety Reps, Equality, Environmental and Learning Reps.

Each core reps course consists of two modules of five days. Reps 1A & 1B (one course) and Reps 2A & 2B (one course). It is essential that both parts are booked at the same time and are completed in the same academic year (September-July) to receive your final certificate.

The Covid-19 pandemic has of course affected all of our members, families and communities and tragically thousands of people have died in the UK and around the world 

Many employers are now making workers redundant or attacking terms and conditions. Unite’s education courses are equipping reps with the skills, knowledge and confidence needed to effectively organise and fight back against these attacks and to continue to pursue better pay, terms and conditions in the workplace for our members.

The education department have responded swiftly to the pandemic and developed our courses to be delivered online by Ruskin College tutors in a ‘virtual classroom’. These replicate as close as possible, the collaborative and collective approach we undertake in trade union learning.

Your health and safety is of course our top priority, and our intention is to move back into the classroom as soon as we can but at the moment we will continue to provide online courses. When circumstances and guidance changes we will switch these courses into the physical classroom as we have already booked the venues and dates.

As the online courses have been so successful we intend to continue to have an online blended learning offer available to members who would wish to enrol on one of these. These would run alongside our core courses in the classrooms.

We can also run bespoke courses and bite size training on request on other subjects such as Covid-19 Risk Assessment, Dealing with Redundancy, Disciplinary and Grievances.

Unite has always had a proud tradition of political education running through all of its core courses, which is reinforced through a separate political education programme of workshops, schools and political economy courses.

Please take a few minutes to look through the programme and sign up for one of the many courses on offer, by:


By telephone 020 8800 4281

or online

Unite Education – Here for you!

In Solidarity,

Danny Freeman

Education Organiser

All course dates are available here

Workplace Representatives Training

As an elected Workplace Representative it is essential you access your initial training as soon after election as possible. Your initial training consists of Module 1A and 1B. It is best to book both courses at the same time to ensure you have a place reserved on each course.

Workplace Representatives Module 1A - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

This course is designed to be the core initial training for Unite workplace reps. The course covers the wide range of knowledge and skills needed by the new Rep including:

• Key skills for organising your workplace

• Handling discipline and grievance cases

• Communication skills

• Introduction to Employment Law Equality at Work

Workplace Representatives Module 1B - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

For reps who have completed Module 1A.

This course covers:

• Evaluating and assessing your experience since the Stage 1 course

• Understanding the concept of ‘good work’

• Understanding and dealing with Issues around Dignity and Respect in the workplace

• Problem solving skills

• Bargaining skills

• Work-life balance

• Building a strong workplace union

Workplace Representatives Module 2A - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

For reps who have completed Modules 1A & 1B.

The course covers:

• Improving confidence and knowledge in exploring, questioning and using employment law

• Exploring research skills and developing the ability to find out how legal provisions impact on your members rights in the workplace

• How changes to employment law impact on your workplace rights

• Planning alternative solutions other than employment law to your workplace issues

• Working as a team to develop collective actions

Workplace Representatives Module 2B - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

The course is designed for representatives as follow on training for those that have completed Modules 1A, 1B and 2A.

This course covers:

• Rights to information

• Workplace Rights

• Collective Bargaining

• Agreements

• The Case for Collective Agreements

• Planning for getting an agreement

• Collective Bargaining and Negotiation

Health & Safety Representatives Training

As an elected Health & Safety Representative it is essential you access your initial training as soon after election as possible. Your initial training consists of Module 1A and 1B. It is best to book both courses at the same time to ensure you have a place reserved on each course. 

Health & Safety Representatives Module 1A - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

This course is the essential course for all new Unite Health and Safety Representatives. It is designed to help you build the skills, knowledge and confidence to organise effectively in order to carry out your work as a Safety Rep as well as to create understanding of how economic and others aspects affect the working lives, health, safety and welfare of working people.

The course covers:

• Understanding the role of a Unite Safety Rep

• The legal framework of Health and Safety

• Rights of Safety Reps

• Involving the members in Health and Safety

• Accident Investigations – Risk Assessments

Health & Safety Representatives Module 1B - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

The course develops the skills and knowledge learnt in Module 1A:

• Examining your workplace risk assessment and evaluating them

• Understanding health & safety audits and company accident statistics

• Appreciate health & safety legislation including aspects of criminal and civil law

Health & Safety Representatives Module 2A - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

Module 2A of Unites Health & Safety training builds upon the knowledge learnt in Modules 1A and 1B.

The course covers:

• Assessment of workplace action plan

• Understanding COSHH and related hazards

• Carrying out a workplace audit

• Explore manual handing and ergonomic risks

• Creating a healthier work environment

Health & Safety Representatives Module 2B - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

Module 2B of Unites Health & Safety training builds upon the knowledge learnt in Modules 1A, 1B and 2A.

This course covers:

• Assessment of workplace action plan

• Understanding accidents and finding route cause

• Investigation techniques

• Managing risks and incidents

Equality & Diversity

We offer a range of equality courses to compliment our Five day Equality Reps Induction course. We are constantly adding additional seminars and training based on the needs of our reps. Check back regularly to keep up to speed on our latest course offer.

Equality & Diversity - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

Designed to give all Unite Reps the confidence and knowledge to address equality and diversity issues, the course provides a comprehensive overview of equality in the workplace.

On completion of the course Reps should be able to:

• Recognise equality issues within the workplace

• Know what constitutes discrimination, harassment and bullying

• Challenge their perception of equality & diversity

• Understand the key points of new equalities legislation, measures and legal decisions

• Decide how best to support workers in response to new equalities legislation

• Use interviewing techniques to deal with individual and workplace equality issues

• Develop equality policies and practice

Tackling Race Discrimination In The Workplace - 1 Day

Course Description:

Within our movement it is now widely accepted that race equality is a key trade union issue. Trade unions have a crucial role to play in helping to create working conditions that are fair to all workers – including Black, Asian and ethnic minority workers. The Equality Act 2010 provides protection for our members from racial discrimination and harassment and the opportunity to promote race equality. This course aims to build on good practice and assist in developing policies as part of our bargaining agenda on race equality in the workplace. We want to ensure that all negotiators have as much support as possible in understanding and dealing with race discrimination and harassment, but also to create a climate in the workplace that welcomes diversity and positively promotes good race relations.

Flexible / Family Friendly Working - 1 Day

Course Description:

As well as an update on the changes in the law on flexible working, this workshop will help you to present a case for your members and explore how to negotiate a family friendly policy for your members.

Negotiating Reasonable Adjustments - 1 Day

Course Description:

Equality law recognises that bringing about equality for disabled people may mean changing the way in which employment is structured, the removal of physical barriers and/or providing extra support for a disabled worker. The duty for employers to make reasonable adjustments aims to make sure that a disabled person has the same access to everything that is involved in getting and doing a job as a non-disabled person, as far as is reasonable. This course will cover what can be defined as a disability under the Equality Act, and how to support a member in gaining reasonable adjustments from an employer, and how to signpost members for support outside of the workplace.

Organising Around Bullying and Harassment - 1 Day

Course Description:

Bullying at work is a widespread problem, which affects an estimated two million people in Britain each year and results in the loss of some 18.9 million working days due to stress related illnesses. Many members who find themselves being bullied at work are reluctant to come forward and speak out. The likelihood is if a member in your workplace is being bullied, the bully is not just targeting this one person, it is therefore vital that union reps are pro-active about bullying in workplaces, not just taking them one case at a time. This workshop will look at what constitutes bullying & harassment in the workplace, why it is a health and safety issue, and how we can tackle bullying as a collective issue.

Stress At Work - 1 Day

Course Description:

Unite is campaigning against workplace stress and to prevent workplace discrimination for people who have a mental health condition. Unite is also campaigning against the cuts in the Health Service that support people with mental health conditions. This course will cover why it is important to explain to members that our role as Unite workplace representatives is to provide representation on issues relating to employment. It is essential that reps do not provide counselling or health advice to members as a workplace representative and use the information provided to ensure our members can access health advice and support where necessary. It will also cover negotiating policies for workplaces on mental health.

Union Learning Representatives

Union Learning Representatives play a key role in any workplace. They bring a new string to the organising bow as well as assisting members to access high quality education and training.

Union Learning Reps Stage One - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

This course is designed to be the core initial training for all Unite Union Learning Reps (ULRs). It helps them develop the basic knowledge and skills needed as a new Rep, enabling them to work with colleagues in the workplace to analyse training needs. The course forms a solid foundation for the new ULR to develop their skills and their own personal development.

Union Learning Reps Stage 2 - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

This course continues the core essential training for all Unite Union Learning Reps (ULRs) who have completed stage 1 training. It helps them to further develop the knowledge and skills needed as a ULR in the workplace – working with management, learning providers and other organisations. The course completes the foundation for the ULR and prepares the ULR to develop more specialised skills and knowledge.

Additional Courses

We offer a wide range of additional courses open to representatives. You may find some of these suitable for enhancing your existing skills. We advice that you complete your initial reps training before accessing these additional courses.

Pensions Stage One - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the full range of different pension schemes reps are likely to encounter in the workplace, as well as covering state provision, autoenrollment, pension protections and the role of the ombudsman. We aim to enable workplace representatives to develop their understanding and skills to better support their members and gain confidence in dealing with pensions as part of the bargaining process.

Pensions Stage Two - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

Stage 2 of the pensions course looks at trustee decision making, the role of the actuary, fund investment strategies, negotiating pension issues and pension disputes resolution.

Course description:

This course will help Reps develop a better understanding on mental health issues and how they affect members in the workplace. You will develop a better understanding of Disability Discrimination Law and how it applies to people with mental health illnesses. The training will enable you to develop a strategy to deal with workplace mental health issues and ensure employees are not discriminated against.

Bus Scheduling - 4 Consecutive Days

Course description:

This course is designed to better equip bus schedule reps with the skills and confidence to enable them to successfully negotiate improvements in working conditions and organising around these issues.

This course includes:

• Raising awareness of different workplace terms and conditions

• Developing skills to encourage a greater understanding of schedule rep functions

• Examining issues arising from the introduction of a new route

• Constructing a working timetable and blocks of driving time. Analysing information held on a flat line graph

• Understanding duty compilations, roster formulas, rest day patterns and transferring this information onto a roster

• Scheduling costing

• Examining issues surrounding the law and union policies

• Devising and implementing strategies to improve health and safety cultures.

Branch Secretaries Course - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

The Branch Secretary is a key player in the Unite team. The concept of this course is to develop Branch Secretaries within Unite by providing them with the knowledge and skills, and nurturing their passion, to drive forward the ideology of our union, to develop our activist base and grow and strengthen our membership. This course is designed for all new Branch Secretaries, and for those who have not attended the course recently.

The course covers:

• The administrative role of the Branch Secretary

• How the union works

• How ‘lay democracy’ starts at local branch level

• Understanding organisation procedures

• Encouraging active participation within the Unite structure

• Branch Finance

• Understanding the ‘Strategy for Growth’ and the crucial role that the branch plays

• Setting out a local ‘strategy for growth’ for recruitment, retention and participation in branch life

• Branch Portal

• Chairing and Organising Skills

Environmental Reps - 5 Consecutive Days

Course description:

This 5 day course is designed for Unite Environmental reps.

The course covers:

• Environmental Definitions

• Environment: An Overview

• Standards & Legislation

• Environmental Impact mapping

• Handling Environmental Issues

• Presenting Information