Education Courses at Doncaster Education Centre 2014

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 Our Ref: NP/Ed/70/13
                                     HO Circular No: NP/279/13

                                    14th October 2013.





To: All BRANCHES, EXECUTIVE COUNCIL, REGIONAL COUNCILS, & REGIONAL OFFICES.



Dear Colleagues.


Education Courses at Doncaster Education Centre – 2014.


I am very pleased to circulate the 2014 RMT Trade Union Education Calendar for the coming year. The programme has as in previous years developed on the basis of course demand and innovation to reflect the needs of our Officers & Representatives across the Union. The Council of Executives remain committed to providing the best education and training support for our members and officials. 
The programme continues to offer the full core skills programme:


1. Workplace Representatives Course at Level 1 & 2 – Attendance at a Level 1 course is a prerequisite to fully appreciate and gain the maximum from the other courses set out. In addition all those Workplace Representatives who attended a Level 1 course in 2012/13 or before should look to attend a Level 2 course in 2014.


2. Branch Officials Course at Level 1 & 2 – All existing, and aspiring, Branch Officials should look to attend a Level 1 course in 2014 where the key duties and responsibilities of the position are mapped out. If you have attended a Level 1 course then Level 2 will further support and assist you as a Branch Official.
In addition several new courses have been developed for which attendance at a Workplace Representatives Level 1 course is a vital precursor:


1.    Representation of RMT Members – Perhaps the most important role any of our Reps/Officials perform is to represent their brothers and sisters when a grievance is raised or they are facing discipline procedures. This course provides you with all the key skills and confidence to do both.


2.   Communication for RMT – Getting our message across is vital if we are to build strong RMT workplaces and Branches, this course will provide you with the ability to do this in a variety of ways as well as understanding how the Union nationally works to combat the worst excesses of some of the national media and get our message across effectively.


3.    Organising for a Winning RMT – Organising is the way to ensure we have a strong RMT now and in the future, this course has been developed with the assistance of the RMT’s own Organising Unit and sets out the strategies and activities that can build strong RMT Workplaces.


4.    Winning in the Global Workplace – Increasingly the problems you face in the workplace have a global dimension and so the solutions may also require a global perspective. This course uncovers the globalisation of work and how Trade Unions can fight back globally.


5.    Health & Safety Stage 1 & 2 – The RMT has now available bespoke RMT H&S courses at Stage 1 and Stage 2 level (Land Based). These courses are delivered over two five day blocks, both weeks of each stage are necessary for the full accreditation.


6.    Introduction to Pensions – Increasingly under threat, we need to ensure we have officials in every workplace that can advise members on where to get help and to offer safe and reliable information about something that they will be relying on for many years after they leave work, this course will provide those skills. In 2014 we are also providing a Level 2 Pensions Course, which would be a necessary extension to the Level 1 course for those members who are Pension Trustees or looking to take this role up. It would also give a wider knowledge to anyone who has completed the introductory course.


7.    Union Learning Representatives – If you want to make a difference in the workplace and progress the RMT learning agenda for members then you should look to attend one of these courses, firstly Level 1, then after some workplace learning activity Level 2.


8.    Maritime Health & Safety Stage 1 & Stage 2 – Courses specifically designed to equip our members in the maritime industries with the skills and knowledge to best protect their members.


9.    Campaigning for the RMT – a new course to enable more RMT members and activists to understand and develop campaigns to advance the RMT agenda in the workplace, a course that reflects the Unions best campaigning traditions.


10.    Equality at Work – a course that helps to explain the equality agenda and how this can make all workplaces a better place for all RMT members. This course covers all aspects of this core Trade Union issue.


11.    Advisory Committee Courses – the programme also includes weekend courses at the Education centre for our National Committees for Women, Black & Ethnic minority and LGBT members. In addition the Union will organise a full programme of courses for our Young Members through 2014.


12.    Public Speaking – a new course that is to be piloted in late 2013 will be available to all of our officials and representatives.


13.    Disability Awareness – A short course is available, although not programmed to regions on the key issues of disability for both our members and officials alike. Regions interested in providing this course should contact the RMT Education officer in the first instance.


14.    Area Council Representatives - These course are not programmed but are available to any of our Area Councils on a ‘request’ basis, delivered regionally or nationally at our Education Centre. To ensure the course is viable a minimum of eight students would be required.


15.    RMT Political Course – A week looking at and discussing the political world that we live in, to attend this course you should contact the RMT Political Officer at j.croy@rmt.org.uk

Note: All of our courses, developed by the RMT and delivered by the RMT Lay Tutors are now fully accredited, offering ‘educational credits’ to all successfully completing any of our courses.


In addition to the above national programme the Council of Executives would wish to encourage Regions to organise the Workplace Representatives 3 day Introductory course to provide the first steps on our members Trade Union Education journey. Of course if Regions wish to provide additional course programmes in the regions these should be forwarded to the C of E for their consideration if funding is required from Head Office, and of course if any region requires any assistance in their education work then please contact the National Education Officer in the first instance. All of the nationally agreed courses can, if demand is there, be provided at a Regional location. The RMT will also provide further courses on IT& Office Skills at Northern College in 2014 with dates to be provided later.


All and any members of the RMT wishing to attend an RMT Education course should fill in the attached application form and ensure it is signed by their Branch Secretary. The Education Centre has the capacity for two courses per week, with all your accommodation (all en suite) and reasonable travel expenses met by your Union. Meals are provided free. If you are unable to secure paid release the Union will assist with loss of wages/salary for those days it is lost, but where ‘paid release’ to attend a course is not agreed by the employer then you should refer this to your Lead Officer for advice.


Finally if there are education or training requirements our members or officials need that are not provided currently then please raise this through your Regional Council or at your next Branch meeting in the first instance. I am also attaching the Regional Education Programme that will eventually reflect those courses Regions wish to have delivered at regional locations in 2014.


If you require any further information about any aspect of the RMT Education Programme for 2014 then please contact your Branch Secretary, or the Unions Education officer at a.gilchrist@rmt.org.uk


Yours Sincerely

GENERAL SECRETARY