Funding for our Future: a new learning grant scheme for UNISON South East low paid women members and activists

UNISON is a union of women, over 1 million of them working across the public and private sectors delivering quality public services. Our women members are in all professions, catering assistants, nurses, midday supervisors, librarians, cleaners, social workers and cooks amongst a wide variety of jobs. A large proportion of our women members are low paid and UNISON is unique in offering opportunities for our low paid women members to participate in their union, with reserved seats at conferences and on committees. UNISON recognises there can be a number of barriers to participating in our democracy at branch, regional and national level; time off from work, caring responsibilities and in too many cases a lack of opportunity to complete education or go into higher education.

As a trade union we can negotiate time off to participate in our democracy and we have long standing provisions in place to either provide child care or pay for child / dependent care for those with caring responsibilities.

We are very proud that UNISON South East is now introducing this Education Bursary for Women, a specific opportunity for our low paid women members and activists to return to education. So many of our women members have benefited from the training opportunities that UNISON offers; this bursary goes one step further and provides exclusive opportunities for low paid women members.

This opportunity is provided by former Regional Secretary, Phil Wood who
retired in 2015. Phil was adamant that these opportunities should be offered
to low paid women only in the South Region and UNISON South East is very
proud of this initiative.

We encourage you to consider what this opportunity can do for you in your
job and in also in your trade union. The opportunity to return to education that
you may have left at 16, the college course you may not have had the time to
complete, the opportunity to gain that qualification you always wanted, go for
that promotion at work or become more active in UNISON.