RMT - Trade Union Education & Learning

  Circular No. ED/80/20
31 st  March 2020
To: All Branches, Regional Councils, Regional Organisers and Head Office Officers.
Dear Colleague
The current on-going pandemic and in particular the measures being adopted to deal with this serious situation has led to the decision to close the BCNEC and the classroom TU Ed programme there alongside the regionally delivered courses from the same programme. Additionally, the RMT’s learning agenda both in Scotland and England have now to significantly adjust its learning offer to members and the manner in which it is organised and delivered, this is further made difficult with the requirement to achieve learning outcomes to meet required targets for the successful reimbursement of ULF project funding. Of course, the indeterminate length of the current pandemic and the measures in place to deal with it make straightforward planning more difficult so flexibility and a mixed approach will be required. I therefore set out the approach being adopted to put in place both TU education for our Workplace Reps and H&S Reps as the first priority, and more general learning opportunities for the wider membership and staff, during this difficult time.
Trade Union Education ; The priority for the period going forward will be to provide educational support for our current and newly elected (in that order) Workplace Representatives and H&S Representatives (Reps). In the absence of classroom based participatory education courses (as has been the much-preferred method of delivery), the programme will need to be adapted for delivery online and on web-based platforms.
In the short to medium term short online modules (a few hours per module) from the existing classroom-based programme will be delivered for uploading to our own website for any Reps to access, for existing reps this should be seen as a ‘refresher’ option. These can be added to over time for issues that Reps themselves request them for.
A more thorough and extensive piece of work will be to develop our existing classroom materials for new Reps, Workplace Reps & H&S Reps as a priority, for delivery remotely utilising laptops, phones etc. These will need to be available through our website (as a host), or similar platform, and if technically sustainable available on a ‘conference video’ style basis. This will involve adapting our course materials and resources, providing Tutors with a briefing on teaching methodology for remote material delivery, providing the quality of technical IT support to deliver, and adapting our administration of courses appropriately.
Dependant upon the length of time of the current situation will determine how much of the full programme can be developed for online delivery, taking account of the fact that at some point the union would want to return to its favoured collective participatory classroom delivery method.
In the immediate there exists many online sites that a number of reps already access as a preferred option for TU Education courses, these are;
WEA (Workers Educational Association) -  https://www.wea.org.uk/learn-us/student-support
TUC (Trades Union Congress) -  https://www.tuceducation.org.uk/
GFTU (Global Federation of Trade Unions) -  https://gftu.org.uk/education/
The above offer many of their courses for free, however some do attract a fee.
RMT Learning ; the Union has an extensive learning programme available in both Scotland and England, to find out the latest available learning opportunities you should contact;
Highlands & Islands –  d.henderson@rmt.org.uk
Lowlands & Uplands –  d.fallen@rmt.org.uk
RMT Learning England –  d.murray@rmt.org.uk  or  f.enyioko-bakers@rmt.org.uk
In addition, through the RMT Learning project (England) the following will be shortly, or is now, available;
  1. RMT Maritime Learning Portal this has a range of online learning opportunities free to members to sign up and complete. It has a maritime theme for several courses but is open to non-maritime RMT members. For sign in details please contact i.riddell@rmt.org.uk
  2. WRANX – this learning online platform has again an extensive programme of short and more lengthy courses free to members. It is a unique learning style and often takes less than 5 minutes a day to complete each part of the course, the following link will take you there https://unionlearn.ulp.wranx.com
3.        LEARNING CURVE –  RMT Learning have teamed up with Learning Curve (a recognised training provider) to offer our members the opportunity to undertake some free online courses. We have secured a range of fully funded courses in different subject areas to help our members boost their current skills, gain new knowledge or learn something brand new.
You will achieve a nationally recognised Level 2 Qualification to further your personal or professional development and you can learn at a time that suits you, without the need to attend a classroom.
You will also have the support of an RMT Learning Organiser. The following link will take you there;  https://lcgonline.formstack.com/forms/level_2_course_enrolment?referral=RMT
  1. ALL STAFF LEARNING - details will shortly be available of a comprehensive learning package for staff to take advantage of, entirely free and voluntary. Details will in due course be circulated to all staff.
  2. PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES UNIT CIC – The Learning project has engaged this leading training provider for a series of courses explaining the Social Model approach to a range of issues mental health, the course (3days delivered over I day each of 3 weeks). The course will assist those attending to understand the key features of potential agreements with employers that follow a ‘social model’ approach. 
In addition, the Unit is developing a service through their national network to assist people remain healthy psychologically during these different times. Details of both will be forthcoming in due course.
  1. Learning Providers – the following also provide learning opportunities for all members, please contact pmihaj@rmt.org.uk for further details – 
The Skills Network:          https://rmtlearning.theskillsnetwork.com/
TSP Learn:                      https://tsplearn.co.uk/online-courses/
Learn My Way:               https://www.learnmyway.com/
Birkbeck University:        http://www.bbk.ac.uk/
Please note  https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XC2L85M  - is the link Learning Organisers will signpost members signing up for courses in the absence of any data sharing agreement.
I hope you all will take up these opportunities on offer and also appreciate that the work to provide quality TU Education is underway. F or any further information please contact the National Education Officer at  a.gilchrist@rmt.org.uk
Yours sincerely
General Secretary