March 23, 2016
ULRs, Tutors and other branch delegates came together to discuss issues around learning and education in the RMT.
Keynote speaker AGS Steve Hedley spoke about the need for ULRs and all reps to be involved in developing membership and organising in their workplaces. "they are in a unique position to be talking regularly to members and non-members alike. Generating activity and encouraging non's to join and be part of the solution".
Conference Chairman Dave Gilby said he would have liked to see more delegates attending and next year the liaison committee would be looking at how they can build attendance, making the conference even more relevant and influential.
Conference Secretary and National Education Officer Andy Gilchrist said there were many changes and improvements at the Bob Crow National Education Centre added to which an exponential growth in regional courses, has put a lot of pressure on the system. However the RMT remains committed to building strength and activism through education. Whilst there are some big issues to be faced. With the slash and burn policy of this government carving up Adult and Trade Union Education making it harder and harder to provide the level of TU education members demand. RMT Education and the National Executive are determined that whatever the powers that be throw at us, we will meet it head on and find new ways to deliver high quality training for all our reps.
It was noted that the National Education Centre was this year 10 years old and the conference also requested the secretary write to the staff at the centre to recognise and thank the staff; who have looked after the students when at the centre. Showing patience and flexibility and working their socks off to provide a great place in which to learn.
Senior Learning Organiser and Lay Tutor Emily King gave a presentation on the history of liberal education versus the radical education over the last 120 years. How that has impacted on the under representation of women in the union and how much further we have to go. Posing more questions than providing answers. Which challenged the perceptions of the all, male audience. It was not a comfortable debate but was widely praised as forcing people to think differently and look seriously at how we do things and why. How can we educate ourselves to make the change we want to see.
A fascinating session in a lively and effective conference.
The National Education Advisory Committee dates were set for the coming year and they will meet on
Wednesday 20th July 2016
Wednesday 11th January 2017
There are still some vacancies for the NEA Committee in some regions and notices will be going out to ask for regional elections in those regions shortly.