RMT Trade Union Education Programme 2015

                                                                                               Our Ref: NP/Ed/4614
                                     HO Circular No: NP/206/14

                                    10th October 2014.


Dear Colleagues.

RMT Trade Union Education Programme 2015.

I am very pleased to circulate the 2015 RMT Trade Union Education Calendars 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 members looking to become accredited RMT Workplace Reps should look to attend both the Level 1 and 2 courses. This is a total of 10 days (2 x 5 day blocks) that provides the basic skills and knowledge required to become an RMT Workplace Representative.

2. Branch Officials Course at Level 1 & 2 – All existing, and aspiring, Branch Officials should look to attend a Level 1 course where the key duties and responsibilities of the positions are mapped out. If you have attended a Level 1 course then Level 2 will further support and assist you as a Branch Official as well as provide sessions on utilising the RMT Membership system.

In addition the following courses are available 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/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. The course also covers the issues around ‘Social Media’ and the problems it can present to our members.

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. The RMT continues to provide where requested our own Maritime H&S courses at Level 1 & 2.

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 2015 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.    Campaigning for the RMT – a 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.

9.    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.

10.    Advisory Committee Courses – the programme also includes weekend courses at the Education centre specifically for our Women, Black & Ethnic minority and LGBT members. In addition the Union will organise a full programme of courses for our Young Members through 2015.

11.    Public Speaking – a new course, this seeks to assist those attending to develop the skills and confidence to deliver the RMT message to branch meetings and workplace meetings.

12.    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.

13.    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.

14.    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.

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. I am also anxious that Regions go much further than this in terms of developing Regional Education plans that can offer any of our courses to members in a regional location. Following a decision of our AGM in 2012 any of the national courses can be delivered locally and all costs recovered from Head Office. For any advice or assistance in developing a Regional Education plan or organising RMT courses locally you should contact the National Education Officer at a.gilchrist@rmt.org.uk or on 07584172705. It should be borne in mind that a previous AGM decision requires RMT courses, nationally or regionally delivered, to be preferred over those provided by external organisations.

The RMT will also provide further courses on IT& Office Skills at Northern College in 2015 with dates to be provided later.

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/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.

Yours Sincerely