Members and Activist Training Courses

West Midlands UNISON offer a range of courses for members and activists, from courses on Excel and spreadsheets to Dementia Awareness, all free for members to access.

Upcoming for members there are the below courses:

  • Online Excel and Spreadsheets (intermediate) – Morning – 7th June – 21st June 2022
    3 Tuesday mornings – 9:15am – 10:45pm
    This course is aimed at those members that already have basic knowledge and experience of spreadsheet features using Microsoft Excel. It will cover using more complex formulas and functions like filter/sort. It will also look at creating charts and sharing information with other programmes.
  • Online Excel and Spreadsheets (intermediate) – Afternoon – 7th June – 21st June 2022
    3 Tuesday afternoons – 1:15pm – 2:45pm
    This course is aimed at those members that already have basic knowledge and experience of spreadsheet features using Microsoft Excel. It will cover using more complex formulas and functions like filter/sort. It will also look at creating charts and sharing information with other programmes.
  • Pre-Retirement Planning:  9th June – 30th June 2022
    5 Thursday mornings – 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th June & 7th July 11:15am – 12:45pm

    This new course will be of specific interest to those UNISON members that are either nearing towards or thinking about or retirement. It will look at the emotional, practical and financial implications of retirement and identify areas of opportunity for hobbies and leisure. It will also consider some areas where financial assistance may be available.
  • Managing Stress: 13th June – 4th July 2022
    4 Thursday mornings – 13th, 20th, 27th June & 4th July
    11:15am – 12:45pm

    These sessions will consider some of the main causes of stress in society. It will look at proven ways of coping with stress, strategies for not letting stress overwhelm a person and potentially harmful stress reduction strategies. A course cannot eradicate stress during stressful times, but you can learn how to manage it better.
  • Intro to Mindfulness: 13th June – 4th July 2022
    4 Monday afternoons – 13th, 20th, 27th & 4th July
    1:15pm – 2:45pm
    This session will focus on what mindfulness is and the benefits of practicing it regularly. It is a therapeutic technique that focuses on the individual being fully aware in the present moment. Benefits of mindfulness can be numerous to both physical and mental well-being, particularly reducing stress.
  • Bereavement Awareness: 28th June 2022
    10:15am – 12:45am
    This online workshop is open to any UNISON member that wants to reflect on the grieving process and gain a greater understanding of current models that can help. It will also look at the impact of loss on families, individuals and the role communication can play.
  • Online Excel and Spreadsheets (advanced) – Morning – 28th June – 12th July.
    3 Tuesday Mornings – 28th June, 5th & 12th July
    9:15am – 10:45am
    This course has been developed to enable you to add more advanced functions of Excel into your spreadsheet work. You should already have a good grasp of using Excel or have completed the Intermediate Level course with UNISON. It will cover topics that include complex formulas and formatting which will enable you to produce highly efficient and productive workbooks.
  • Online Excel and Spreadsheets (advanced) – Afternoon – 28th June – 12th July.
    3 Tuesday Afternoons – 28th June, 5th & 12th July
    1:15pm – 2:45pm
    This course has been developed to enable you to add more advanced functions of Excel into your spreadsheet work. You should already have a good grasp of using Excel or have completed the Intermediate Level course with UNISON. It will cover topics that include complex formulas and formatting which will enable you to produce highly efficient and productive workbooks.
  • Mental Health Awareness: 6th July 2022
    9:30am – 1:00pm
    This workshop is aimed at any UNISON member that would like to gain some introductory knowledge and understanding of mental health. It will help participants understand the main mental health problems that people face and provide a basic insight into the experience of having mental distress.
  • Dementia Awareness: 12th July 2022
    9:30am – 1:00pm
    This session is aimed at any UNISON member that would like to gain better knowledge and understanding of dementia. It will explore some of the features, causes and look at how the condition may be managed that will be of use to both carers and service users.

For activists we have the below upcoming training courses:

  • Challenging Racism in the Workplace: 18th May – 19th May 2022
    Developing a Branch Strategy
    9:30am – 3.30pm
    This new course is aimed at senior branch representatives so that they can take forward a branch strategy to tackle this issue.

    The aims of the course are:
    – To raise your awareness of the opportunities equality law provides to identify institutional racism and ensure that the issues are dealt with.
    –  To improve your knowledge of the tools you can use to engage with your employer on tackling race discrimination.
    – To explore how an organising approach can be taken to tackling racism in the workplace.
    – To build confidence in negotiating with employers and anticipating any challenges.
    – To develop a realistic action plan for the Branch.

  • Online Handling Grievance & Disciplinary: 18th May – 19th May 2022
    Day 1- 2 sessions of 2 hours (10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm) Day 2- 2 sessions of 2 hours (10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm)
    There will be tasks set in between the main sessions on each day.This two-day course concentrates on building the skills, techniques and confidence needed for workplace stewards to represent members. It examines the contents of grievance and disciplinary procedures, the influence of the ACAS Code of Practice then moves on to develop the skills needed for preparing a case, interviewing, and representing a member.

    Stewards must have completed either the 5-day Organising Steward course or the 10-day TUC Union Representatives Stage 1 course before applying for this course.

  • Dealing with a Disciplinary Case: 6th June – 7th June 2022
    Day 1- 2 sessions of 2 hours (10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm) Day 2- 2 sessions of 2 hours (10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm)
    There will be tasks set in between the main sessions on each day.It is advisable that new representatives attend the Handling Grievance and Disciplinary Casework course before applying for this course.

    Stewards must have completed either the 5-day Organising Steward course or the 10-day TUC Union Representatives Stage 1 course before applying for this course.

    This 2 day course is based on developing skills and a systematic approach to dealing with disciplinary cases. It uses a single set of case notes to consider alternative approaches for dealing with a disciplinary case. The course follows a case portrayed on video to which the stewards have to respond to as the case unfolds. Ideal for stewards who want to improve their representational skills, and for ERA certified representatives who want refresher training.

  • Organising Steward: 14th June – 12th July 2022
    5 Tuesday Mornings – 10am-12pm 
    In addition to once a week 2 hour online sessions, you should expect to be doing an extra 3 hours of coursework a week. You are entitled to request this time off from your employer to complete the work. If you need assistance with arranging time off from your employer please contact the Branch.

    You will be required to attend all 5 online tutorials that are set out below:
    – Tuesday 14th June – 10am – 12pm
    – Tuesday 21st June – 10am – 12pm
    – Tuesday 28th June – 10am – 12pm
    – Tuesday 5th July – 10am – 12pm
    – Tuesday 12th July – 10am – 12pm

This is a five-day course for UNISON stewards and workplace representatives. It covers the role of the stewards in UNISON, UNISON structure, basic organisational, representational and communication skills, equalities and all the basics a steward needs to know in order to take on this role.

This course is included in the National Qualifications and Credit Framework. Completion of this course will provide a TUC Award.

  • Introduction to Health and Safety: 16th June – 14th July 2022
    5 Thursday mornings – 10am-12pm
    In addition to the once a week 2 hour online sessions, you should expect to be doing an extra 3 hours of coursework a week. You are entitled to request this time off from your employer to complete the work. If you need assistance with arranging time off from your employer please contact your UNISON branch.As the majority of the course is online, this can be fitted in with other commitments. But you will be required to attend all 5 online tutorials that are set our below:

    – Thursday 16th June – 10am-12pm
    – Thursday 23rd June – 10am-12pm
    – Thursday 30th June – 10am-12pm
    – Thursday 7th July – 10am-12pm
    – Thursday 14th July – 10am-12pm

    This course covers the role of the Health and Safety Representative, legislation, workplace inspections and developing local strategies. This is an essential starting point for new Health and Safety representatives.

  • Maternity and Parental Rights: 30th June 2022
    10am – 4pm 
    This course will help participants to understand the law on maternity and parental rights. It will focus on how stewards and health & safety representatives can advise members of their rights with employers.The course will also explore how to negotiate improvements to contractual agreements in the workplace.

Information on all the above members and activist courses (including the above and other courses) are available on the West Midlands UNISON learning website, which you can access below:

http://www.learninunisonwm.org.uk/courses