UNISON 5 year rule
If you undertake representative work or casework for UNISON then you need refresher training at least every 5 years
Think of it as your vital continuing professional development as a UNISON rep, or your ‘licence to practice’ .
On the refresher course you will learn about current protocols in the union when representing members -how to organise around issues in the workplace to lessen the amount of individual casework required and look at recent legal changes and how these may affect the way we represent.
The course is best run in the branch - see your Regional Organiser to get a course off the ground. The events lists below are what we refer to as 'mop up' events - for people from Branches where only one or two people need 'refreshing'ie too few to run a branch based course.
In the North West we recommend the following policy from regional council for your attention:
UNISON reps and Branch officers who undertake casework need to be ERA certified. The appropriate courses to undertake to acheive this are as follows
- The Organising steward – 5 days (for those newly elected)
- The Stewards refresher – for experienced reps and officers who have not taken appropriate training during the last five years – 1 or 2 day versions are available to run via your regional organiser at Branch Level
- Representation Skills- 3 day course
(The TUC stage 1 course for stewards also leads to ERA certification but before we can certify a person we need evidence of attendance. See your Branch Education Coordinator for more information)
Where a rep or branch officer unreasonably refuses to attend a refresher course the Branch must discuss at committee level whether this person is better placed as a workplace contact rather than hold an elected position (where it is expected the post holder would from time to time carry out case work.)