Developing union reps
I spent the early part of this week at our partner college, Ruskin College in Oxford with 15 Prospect reps who were on a development course that the TUC had put together with the union. The aim of the course was to give the reps a wider understanding of some the challenges that unions face and the strategies that are being developed to overcome them.
The training included sessions on the union organising challenge, employment relations, unions and politics and European and international trade unionism. Leading each session was an academic or expert in the subject area being discussed. The course was a pilot for Prospect who may now consider the feasibility of rolling the course out and also for us at the TUC as we look at whether there is scope for developing a programme for union reps that is similar to the Leading Change programme that we run for senior paid officials.
The feedback from the Prospect reps was really positive and I got a real sense that those people who deal with the nitty-gritty of trade union activity on a daily basis at the workplace – where the benefits of trade unions are most obvious and valued – really appreciated the chance to take a step back to consider and learn about the broader issues that shape the context in which they carry out their trade union activity.