The Society of Union Employees works with the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) to provide fantastic learning and development opportunities for SUE members.
Many of the courses are residential, with accommodation, travel and expenses met by the GFTU. The only exception to this are the 5 day residential courses held at Northern College where SUE is responsible for travel expenses.
Approval to attend GFTU courses must be given by the SUE Education Officer, Dee Griffiths who is based at the UNISON Regional Centre in Birmingham.
Application forms can be obtained from your Branch Secretary or Dee Griffiths and then should be emailed for approval to firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to NEW GFTU education brochure below
GFTU courses at Northern College 2020/2021
Here at The Northern College, we have been facilitating the training of activists for over 40 years. Already working in partnership with many trade unions, we are able to offer excellent tailored education provision in the unique residential setting of a Grade-I listed country house situated in the Yorkshire countryside. Our courses are residential, meaning you can enjoy the house and 800 acres of gardens, land and deer park. For more information on The Northern College, please visit http://www.northern.ac.uk.
The GFTU courses are residential and most are accredited meaning you achieve a qualification in trade union studies. Courses include bed, breakfast, evening meal and tea/coffee twice a day at break times. The GFTU website also has details of all the courses which can be viewed here gftu.org.uk/gftu-events/ and here gftu.org.uk/new-gftu-courses-at-northern-college/.
The dates are here and the following pages have a synospis of each course. Thank you, Paul Gibson, Trade Union Education at The Northern College. 01226 776000 email@example.com
To book a place please contact SUE’s education officer, passing your application form through SUE to pass on to Mark Robinson, GFTU Education administrator. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01509 410857
Please note that we require applications to be sent in and received by no later than 30 days before the course start date.
For online course applications we allow applications to be sent in and received by no later than 5 days before the course start date.
Equality in the workplace (a new 5-day course, level 1 & ‘openly recruited’).
No. ‘Core’ Courses Date Delivered at
1 Shop Stewards Stage 1 Online due to Covid. 15,22,29 Sep & 6,13 Oct (plus one to ones during the week) Northern College, Barnsley.
2 Health & Safety Stage 1 5 – 09 Oct 2020 Northern College, Barnsley.
3 Negotiation skills 19 – 23 Oct 2020 Northern College, Barnsley.
4 Shop Stewards Stage 2 16 – 20 Nov 2020 Northern College, Barnsley.
5 Health & Safety Stage 2 23 – 27 Nov 2020 Northern College, Barnsley.
6 Shop Stewards Stage 1 1 – 5 Feb 2021 Northern College, Barnsley.
7 New course Equality in the workplace (Level 1) Openly recruited from all unions. 15-19 Feb 2021 Northern College, Barnsley.
8 Shop Stewards Stage 2 8 – 12 Mar 2021 Northern College, Barnsley.
9 Health & Safety Stage 1 15 – 19 Mar 2021 Northern College, Barnsley.
10 Negotiating Skills 22 – 26 Mar 2021 Northern College, Barnsley.
11 Shop Stewards Stage 1 12 – 16 Apr 2021 Northern College, Barnsley.
12 Developing workplace learners (non- accredited) 26 -30 Apr 2021 Northern College, Barnsley.
13 Shop Stewards Stage 1 7 – 11 June 2021 Northern College, Barnsley.
14 Health & Safety Stage 1 14-18 June 2021 Northern College, Barnsley.
15 Shop Stewards Stage 2 5 – 09 July 2021 Northern College, Barnsley.
16 Health & Safety Stage 2 12 – 16 July 2021 Northern College, Barnsley.
‘Next generation’ courses 3-day courses, Unaccredited
Young workers and volunteers 24-25 October Northern College, Barnsley.
Black, Minority, Asian and Ethnic leaders 8-9 May Northern College, Barnsley.
Developing women role models 10-11 July Northern College, Barnsley.
The course will take the opportunity to consider appropriate inclusive language and its importance e.g. gender-neutral language. Students will explore and consider valuable and reliable research sites. It will also deepen an awareness of unconscious bias, in ourselves and others and the impact this can have. As well as developing students’ knowledge of using the Equality Act 2010 and Health and Safety to strengthen negotiations in the workplace and in communities.
The course will include:
· How to raise the equality agenda in workplaces
· Exploring how to make equality and diversity part of mainstream collective bargaining
· Working with vulnerable workers and ensuring they receives fair treatment
Synopsis of ‘short’ courses (2 day residential, 15 GLH, ‘openly recruited’)
Developing women role models
Women’s voices are often underrepresented in today’s workplace. This course aims to address that imbalance by empowering woman to organise and support each other, with a view to becoming advocates and companions for each other. It will look into barriers that can stop or limit women’s progression and how best to overcome them.
The course aims to:
• Develop students’ confidence
• Show students how to apply confidence in situations
• Understand assertiveness
Young workers and volunteers
The course is aimed at younger employees in the workplace. It is designed to develop confidence to support other younger workers, be able to identify barriers and opportunities for young workers, set SMART goals to achieve, use social media and other communication tools and develop team working and problem-solving skills.
The course aims to help students:
• Identify own strengths and weakness as a team member
• Identify ways to improve own ability to function effectively
Black, Minority, Asian and Ethnic leaders
This course will explore roles within leadership, specifically for people from the BAME community. The challenges that are faced as well as the support networks available as well as helping to build the confidence to embrace leadership within their own contexts. Most importantly, the course will offer guidance as oppose to dictating a specific path.
The course aims to help students:
· Work on examples of behaviours that could cause conflict
· Challenge negative behaviour
· Understand effective communication
GFTU Shop Stewards Stage one
This course is recommended for workplace shop stewards who are new to the role or those that want to refresh their skills and confidence in representing members.
The course will include the following –
• The skills a shop steward needs
• The role of a shop steward
• Your rights as a shop steward
• Facilities and time off
• Interviewing skills
• Listening skills
• Handling a member’s grievance
• Handling a disciplinary case
• Fairness and equality
GFTU Shop Stewards Stage Two
This course is recommended for workplace shop stewards who understand the basic elements of their role and their rights and who want to further develop their skills and confidence in representing members. The course will include:
• Understand a range of problems that affect members
• Collect and present information in representing members
• Produce a plan for dealing with specific members problems
• Develop the skills and confidence required to represent members in meetings with management
• Equality, discrimination and protected characteristics
• Bargaining, negotiation and consultation in the workplace
• Review of Statutory Employment Rights
GFTU Health & Safety Stewards Stage 1
This course is aimed at health and safety stewards who want to develop their skills, knowledge and confidence in the area of health and safety. The course will include:
• The Role and Functions of the Health and Safety Rep
• Health and Safety Committee Meetings
• The Safety Representative and Committee Regulations
• Facilities for Health and Safety Reps
• Health and Safety Inspections
• Recognising Workplace Hazards
• European Legislation and the ‘6 PACK’
• Prevention and Control Measures
• Dealing with Specific Health and Safety Issues of Concern
GFTU Health & Safety Stewards Stage 2
This course is intended for experienced stewards who have completed the Health and Safety Stewards Stage 1 and more experienced stewards who need to refresh their training. The course will cover a number of topics in depth and will include:
• The background and origins of specific health & safety legislation affecting the workplace
• The main legal requirements of specific health & safety regulations
• Be able to understand how you can use health & safety regulations to improve health & safety standards at work
• Develop the confidence to raise health and safety matters on behalf of union members
• Understand the key legal requirements relating to risk assessment
• Understand the risk assessment process
• Use risk assessment strategies and union organisation to secure improvements in workplace safety
GFTU Negotiating skills
This course is recommended for shop stewards who have experience in their role and who want to further develop their skills and confidence in negotiation for their members. The course will cover a number of topics in depth and will include:
• Everyday Negotiation Skills
• What is Negotiating?
• Negotiating Styles
• Employment Law and the Workplace
• Effective Negotiating Teams
• Case Analysis – Problem and Preparation
• Body Language
• Negotiation Practice
• Case Analysis – Research and Planning
Union Learning Representative Stage 1
This five-day course is designed to equip Union Learning Reps (ULRs) with all the prerequisite skills needed for their tasks. This course will ensure ULRs are sufficiently trained in order to fulfil their role, making them eligible for time-off in order to fulfil their trade union duties. The course will cover a number of topics in depth and will include:
• The role and functions of ULRs
• The principals of lifelong learning
• Interviewing techniques
• Negotiating learning and training
• The identification of learning needs
• Supporting members in their own learning
Developing Adult Learning
The purpose of this course is to empower students to understand the role of the education volunteer and be able to identify people’s issues and get them involved in education and training. This course is for people who have some experience in helping others access education. The course will cover a number of topics in depth and will include:
• Listen and respond constructively in group and class discussions
• Describe current activities that promote formal and informal learning
• Describe examples of inequalities in learning
• How to deliver a micro-teach
GFTU Education Services
Applications to attend GFTU courses can be made on-line at the GFTU website or by completing an application form at the link below and forwarding to Dee Griffiths, SUE National Education Officer at email@example.com
All applications, whether electronic or paper-based are subject to approval by the SUE Education Officer.
GFTU Training Centre, Quorn Grange, Leicestershire