During Adult Learners Week from 20th to 24th May, 55 UNISON branches have arranged over 90 learning events across the region. These are an opportunity to publicise the valuable work of the UNISON’s Regional Education Service in supporting union members and representatives in lifelong learning, and demonstrate to non-members one of the benefits of belonging to UNISON.
The events range from the more traditional union themes of labour history, employment law and understanding union agreements, to everyday practical issues like managing stress, cv writing, beauty & make up, improving literacy and numeracy, promoting healthy living and financial planning. There are also lots of fun events being held that promote learning in its widest sense like zumba and salsa dancing, and the benefits of growing your own fruit and vegetables.
The Region has also launched its new education and training website for Adult Learners Week – Learn in UNISON West Midlands (www.learninunisonwm.org.uk) This is still under construction so for the time being it will be view only. When fully functional it will provide information on all the UNISON and TUC course programmes available in the West Midlands, with a host of features to assist members and representatives with their learning needs.
UNISON’s Regional Education Officer Fred Cattle, who after 25 years working for the union is retiring on 24th May said:
“I feel privileged to have worked in a UNISON Region where there has been a conscious policy of supporting the role of the Education Service. Currently we provide, in conjunction with the TUC/Unionlearn, a full range of courses for our workplace representatives and branch officers, and in partnership with the Workers Educational Association and the Open University, an expanding programme for our members. All these courses are provided for free.
Fred continued “during Adult Learners Week, in my final week before I retire, the Region and its branches will provide a practical demonstration, in a variety of ways, of what union education can do: it changes and enriches people’s lives!”