Branch Officer Development Programme

Branch Officer posts are key to the efficient running of our local organisation in UNISON. Every Branch officer no matter what their post needs to understand and gain skills in common areas of union work and equally they must learn and practice skills pertinent to their specific officer role.

The Courses run 9.30-4pm each day at the UNISON Regional Centre, Manchester

  • April 13 2015 for 5 consecutive days
  • October 5 2015 for 5 consecutive days

Express you interest in the programme – complete this short FREE survey

This course has been designed over two separate study blocks to combine specialist sessions with generic sessions which will allow the participant who completes both study blocks and some individual project work an opportunity to achieve a Certificate level qualification. Participants should attend both the April and the October Modules ideally in this order but we realise this may not be possible for everyone so is you need to start in October and finisg in April this is fine.

The course is designed primarily for newly elected officials or those relatively new in post but who have not taken UNISON training thus far. There are some places too for Branch officers who have been in post for longer that 5 years and may wish to undergo refresher training. Each participant who completes the course will also be able to register as an ERA certified steward or re- register.

Common or generic areas of study will include

  • Managing the Branch
  • Mentoring and Leadership
  • Organising, Campaigning, Representation and Bargaining – the officer role across the branch
  • Certification as competent to accompany members at a disciplinary and grievance hearing in order to comply with Employment Relations Act 1999

The specialist areas of study will be different for each officer – along the following lines

  • Chairs - the rules of debate, motions and amendments, making meetings more user friendly, using education methodologies to increase participation
  • Treasurers- basic book keeping, branch budgets, year end accounts, It developments, the treasurers ‘convention’
  • Secretaries- Aims and objects of the union, The UNISON calendar and its deadlines, Management of time, Management of Resources, Leading the Bargaining team
  • Communications Officers- distribution methods, creating and producing newsletters, dealing with the media, using new media – text, web sites,  social networks campaigning in UNISON
  • Education and Life Long Learning Coordinators, – available courses, available providers, UNISON’s own programme, the TUC and the WEA – organising local courses – supporting new reps in the branch – coordination of learning reps and learning at work programmes
  • Equality and Self Organised Group Officers- The legal backdrop; UNISON policies of fair representation and proportionality, Self organisation in UNISON – Coordination of Equality reps and equality impact assessments
  • Health and Safety Officers – Hazards and Safety Committees, Bargaining around Health and Safety issues; Coordination of local Health and Safety Reps and workplace inspections 
  • Membership Officers – dealing with accurate membership details helping map members in the workplace working with organising and recruiting teams to campaign in the workplace
  • Labour Link Officers – help members to understand our policies and the startegies UNISON adopts to persuade politicins to take up our causes
  • Welfare Officers – helping members understand the welfare fund and whats on offer – Participants must have already taken  The Branch Welfare Officers E-NOTE

*SOG – self organised group

Click here to download an application form – ask your branch education coordinator to authorise your application and return the completed form to Arena Point