Organising Steward

If you have recently become a UNISON Steward or workplace representative, you are probably feeling slightly anxious about what you have let yourself in for. Don’t panic!

UNISON South East have put together a 17-day programme of training, which we recommend for all new Stewards, and for which your employer should give you paid time off work to attend.

You do not have to commit to doing all 17 days now- the 17 days are made up of 6 modules so you can spread them over a year or longer according to your needs. Modules 1-2 should be done in order but you can fit Modules 3-6 in any order that suits you.

Each new steward will receive a passport on the first day of the Organising Steward course which will set out the modular aims and skills objectives. This passport is for you to keep as a record of training received.


Organising Steward (5 days)

This course is aimed at new UNISON stewards and combines the previous New Stewards course and Grievance & Disciplinary Handling (ERA Accreditation will only be received on completion of the 5-day course).

  • Who we are and what the course is about
  • How to be a rep: Role, skills and UNISON framework
  • Getting everyone involved: Organising and recruitment
  • World at work: Legal framework, finding information and case presentation
  • You are not alone: Sources of support, campaigning, communication and equality

Further Representation Skills (2 days)

This course is aimed at existing UNISON Stewards and is designed to follow on from the 5-day Organising Stewards course. The course reinforces some approaches and procedures introduced in the 5-day course.

  • Processes for identifying needs and exploring what makes a case
  • Recap on sources of information, including the ACAS code
  • Preparing fora  grievance and a capability case
  • Planning and building a case, including interviewing witnesses
  • Possible case outcomes
  • Building confidence, getting organised and looking after yourself

Developing Representation Skills (2 days)

This course is aimed at existing UNISON Stewards and is a DVD-based course concerning a memebr who is called to disciplinary action for making excessive personal telephone calls. The course looks at three different ways teh memebr could defend their case at disciplinary.

  • Skills and techniques for case preperation
  • How to deal with cases in the workplace
  • Conducting the disciplinary hearing
  • General forms of representation and advice-giving

Negotiating Skills (3 days)

This course is aimed at UNISON representatives who are involved in negotiations or who are likely to become involved in negotiations with management on pay and conditions of service.

  • Understanding teh process of negotiating
  • Different style of negotiating
  • Working effectively as a negotiating team
  • Preparing, presenting and negotaiting on an issue
  • Developing and practising negotaiting skills

Organising around Employment Law (3 days)

This course is aimed at Stewards only and will give an overview of employment law and how to identify legal cases in the workplace.

  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Contracts of Employment
  • Discrimination Law
  • Employment Tribunals

Equality in your Branch (2 days)

This course is aimed at all members and activists and will help you understand how discrimination affects our members, what the union can do to tackle discrimination at work and how we can encourage under-represented members to get involved in union activity.

  • What is expected of branches and the practical measures branches can take to promote equality
  • The range of issues relating to the equality agenda in the union and the workplace
  • Main pieces of equality legislation