Your Education Officer is Joe Monks

Education Officer: 02920 748280

Over 150,000 UNISON members work for private companies that deliver public services.

And every year UNISON runs a learning event so these members can meet each other and help develop the skills and confidence to deal with the particular issues in their workplace.

This year’s private contractors seminar takes place 9-10 November in Leicester. Discussions will focus on mental health at work, sick leave and sick pay, and health and safety.

The deadline for applications is on the 30 September. UNISON branches will cover all costs for members.

UNISON national officer Abby Kimantas says: “We’ve been running this learning event for a number of years, and it’s proving to be a really enjoyable weekend for members working in private companies that deliver public services.

“Whether you’re a hospital cleaner, care worker, administrator or work in a school kitchen, a lot of people face the same issues in different workplaces. It’s a great space to come together, share your experiences and learn how to improve your workplace.

“This year we’re particularly keen to see more registrations from women. Just over 70% of UNISON members are women, and the private contractors seminar is a great space to develop your skills as a union activist.”

Michelle Tymon, works as a domestic at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and has been attending the seminar for three years. She agrees: “When I first went three years ago, I was daunted and anxious about walking into a room of people I didn’t know.

“But everyone was so open and friendly and welcoming. We were all there to gain knowledge and experience, and I’ve ended up building a really good network of people across the country, and we all support each other throughout the year.”

“Most of all, it’s a fantastic learning opportunity. Some of the workshops that have been put on at the seminar have been really good – especially the one on collective bargaining. That’s really helped me with my job, and if I hadn’t started going to the seminar, I wouldn’t have ever known.

“It’s a space to gain knowledge and meet people just like you, who are there to learn something too.”

Chris Akalula, a security supervisor in London and rep for Serco has been attending the private contractors seminar for the past three years. “The seminar is an amazing place to meet people, exchange experiences and ideas and discuss the common issues we face,” he says.

“There are lots of people who work in the health sector there, and when you meet people who are working in similar jobs but for different employers, you realise that the problems you’re facing happen across the industry, and you can get advice on how to handle them and learn from others’ experiences and mistakes.”

“It’s an opportunity to relax, unwind, learn and connect. I had some of the best training I’ve had on negotiating, which was so practical, and really gave me the skills to lead successful pay negotiations.

“Everything UNISON warned me about played out, and thanks to the training I knew exactly how to handle it. It was astounding.

“The seminar is also a great space to hear more about topical issues like menopause, mental health, stress, sickness absence, pay grades,TUPE and employment law.

“These issues can be demotivating and divisive, but being able to discuss them together and have a voice is amazing.

“On top of this, the accommodation is world class, the food is beautiful and you come away from it feeling powerful.”

The deadline for applications is 30 September, remember your UNISON branch will cover the cost of your attendance, and you can apply here.







Member Learning Programme 2019


NEW Courses Added!!!





Neurodiversity in the Workplace – 1 Day

This introductory session is aimed at all staff with an interest in Neurodiversity - an umbrella term for autism, dyslexia, ADHD and dyspraxia.


The course will cover:

  • An introductory understanding of Neurodiversity
  • Strengths of Neurodiverse individuals
  • Workplace barriers for Neurodiverse employees
  • The Equality Act and understanding reasonable adjustments




Professional Boundaries – 1 Day

This short course will look at... 

  • Learning to say no, keeping to boundaries 
  • Managing stress 
  • Turning your phone / emails off 
  • Health and wellbeing 
  • Setting goals 
  • Working from home




Communication Skills in the Workplace – 

1 Day

This course will cover:

  • Recording messages 
  • Correct use of email
  • Social media
  • Written communication
  • Contributing to meetings
  • Telephone communication
  • Texts




Managing Conflict – 1 Day

This course will cover:

  • What to say and how to say it
  • What constitutes professionalism?
  • Conveying the bigger picture and developing objectivity
  • Listening and summarising skills
  • Clear body language and confident attitude
  • Communication skills 



Course Title:




To book your place 

(using the attached application form), 

to be added to a waiting list for a course, or for further information contact:


Sheila Morris 

Tel: 029 20729477







Neurodiversity in the workplace



Professional Boundaries



Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Colwyn Bay


Communication Skills in the Workplace



Professional Boundaries

Colwyn Bay


Communication Skills in the Workplace

Colwyn Bay


Managing Conflict



Managing Conflict

Colwyn Bay








Ever thought about becoming a Learning Rep?

Union learning reps (ULRs) are volunteers who are willing to encourage and support other colleagues with learning in the workplace. Any UNISON member who is interested in learning and enjoys helping people can become a ULR – you don’t need to be involved in the branch already.


If you would like to find out more about the role, contact us TODAY!!




Member Learning Programme 2019


Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) – 1 day

  • Learn about the background to PBS 
  • Gain an understanding of the relationship between PBS and existing good-practice theory and guidance. 
  • Explore a range of definitions for “challenging behaviour” and develop an awareness of the dangers of considering challenging behaviour as a label and consider why some people may have a “vulnerability” or “propensity” to behaviour described as “challenging”.
  • Gain a basic understanding of how behaviours work
  • Explore triggers and antecedents to difficult / challenging behaviours
  • Discuss some of the skills required to implement Positive Behaviour Support 


Autism Awareness – 1 day

  • Learn about the history, language and terminology in relation to autism
  • Causes of Autism? – Myths and misunderstanding, genetics, brain difference, new developments
  • Statistics, prevalence and  diagnosis 
  • An ‘autistic spectrum’ – ranges of functioning and impairment
  • Characteristics of Autism in relation to social interaction, communication and imagination/flexible thinking
  • Associated problems, conditions and impairments (communication, challenging behaviour, sensory issues, stereotypical or obsessive behaviours, movement difference etc)
  • Helpful responses - What can we do? 


Mental Health Awareness – 1 day

This course will help you to understand the historic approaches to mental health and how we address the issue today.  You will discuss the possible causes of mental health problems, and develop an awareness of common types of mental health conditions (inc. psychosis / neurosis / paranoia / affective disorders / schizophrenia / personality disorder etc.).  

You will discuss the language used when addressing mental health, the use of terminology, appropriate communication methods, challenge public perceptions, attitudes and media portrayal and how we can support those affected by mental health issues.


Confidence Skills – 1 day

This course will help you to understand what confidence means and understand how to develop a positive self identity.  The course will look at:

  • Assertive behaviour
  • Passive behaviour
  • Aggressive behaviour
  • Improving confidence through communication skills
  • Building a positive view of yourself
  • Setting goals
  • Decision-making
  • Expressing your own ideas and opinions


Interview Presentations (inc Powerpoint) – 1 day

This one day workshop aims to:

  • Prepare to give an effective confident presentation for the interview situation.
  • Examine the structure of a basic presentation
  • Discuss what makes a good presentation
  • Use PowerPoint to enhance a presentation 
  • Practise presentations


Introduction to Reflective Practice – 1 day

This one day workshop aims to cover:

  • What do we mean by reflection?
  • What is the difference between reflection and critical reflection?
  • Why is reflective practice so important?
  • What are the barriers to reflective practice and might we overcome these?
  • The 'BIG SIX' Concepts in reflection.
  • Theories and models of reflection
  • Using models to enhance reflection


Your Skills, Your Future – 1 day

The course is appropriate for members who want to identify their transferable skills and are considering making some changes to their lives. You will also find out more about being part of UNISON. The course aims:

  • To identify existing, transferable and potential skills for the purpose of personal or professional development.
  • To help participants feel more confident about their skills and abilities.
  • To signpost members to the UNISON learning offer and how they can get involved with the union


Stress & Anxiety Management – 1 day    

  • Understand the terms 'anxiety', ‘panic attack' and stress.
  • Understanding causes and symptoms of anxiety  and stress. .
  • How anxiety and stress can affect the individual and the individual’s friends and family.
  • How different ways of thinking and behaving can affect anxiety and stress.

How anxiety and stress can be managed.

Return to Learn - 1 evening a week over 10 weeks

Return to Learn is a course designed for adults that may have been away from learning for some time. Members from all walks of life and work backgrounds have benefited from Return to Learn.


Women’s Lives - 1 evening a week over 10 weeks

If you are someone who wants to get back into education but have been put off in the past because it all seemed too difficult then Women’s Lives is ideal. The fantastic course includes activities around women’s experiences, perspectives and misconceptions and will give you an understanding of women’s issues.


Making the Most of the Internet – 1 Day

  • Become confident in using the internet and searches
  • Understand how to use email and attachments
  • Understand some of the risks and hazards in using the internet and email
  • Find out which web sites to trust, what the jargon is and where to go for help.
  • Get hints and tips for when you get online.

Facing Change Together – 1 Day

This workshop will help improve your confidence and will look at practical ways that we, as UNISON members, can help and support each other during times of change or uncertainty.   The course aims:

  • To think about the challenges that members face 
  • To introduce ideas about “what is change?”
  • To have an understanding of the “change cycle”
  • To help you create positive solutions
  • To identify ways in which UNISON can support members









Member Learning Programme 2019


Equality, Diversity & Human Rights – 1 Day


After attending this training, staff should be able to:

  • Explore definitions for equality and diversity 
  • Discuss how equality & diversity relate to their work
  • Identify ways that people are different
  • Explore personal assumptions and attitudes to difference
  • Define and distinguish between prejudice, stereotyping and discrimination
  • Identify and challenge differing types of discrimination
  • Explore definitions for discrimination and inclusion
  • Have a basic awareness of the law in relation to Equality & Diversity (MCA / Equality Act etc)
  • Awareness of the historic background to human rights
  • Understanding of the legal context of human rights
  • Think about improving human rights-based practice
  • Understand the importance of equality and inclusion
  • Feel more confident about speaking up and challenging discriminatory practice
  • Access information, advice and support about rights, diversity, equality and inclusion.


Personal Development Skills in the 

Workplace - 1 Day


This workshop will explore:

  • Staff motivation - ours and others!
  • Management / interaction styles
  • Boundaries - Objective vs Subjective 
  • Communication skills, including:
  • “I” phrases
  • Body language
  • Skilled use of questions
  • Defining assertiveness – why / when / how 
  • Types of assertiveness
  • Conflict management, including:
    • Conflict vs confrontation
    • Causes of conflict
    • Conflict pros / cons
    • Resolving conflict
  • Time-management, including:
  • “Time-stealers”
  • “De-procrastination”
  • Tips & techniques
  • All of the above topics involve interactive teaching and discussion with participants, as well as group work exercises.


Get that Job! – 1 day

Explores your strengths and skills and helps you demonstrate those on your job application form. 


Power to be You - 1 day

This is a confidence building workshop that will help you improve your self esteem and learn more about UNISON’s development opportunities.

CV Writing – 1 day

This one day workshop will cover the aim of a CV, the contents and format, writing personal statements and cover letters/letters of application to accompany your CV.


Interview Skills – 1 day

This one day workshop will help you prepare for an interview; including what to take with you, look at potential questions asked at interview and how to answer them, plus the questions to ask at an interview and useful tips that lead to job offers.


Dementia Awareness – 1 Day


As life expectancy improves, increased numbers of people are living with dementia. Supporting someone with a diagnosis of dementia presents unique challenges to both those responsible for delivering effective services and carers.


At the end of this workshop, participants should have developed a basic ability to: 

  • Reflect on their own attitudes to ageing as well as exploring public / media attitudes to older people / ageing 
  • Reflect on current / projected statistics and prevalence for dementia
  • Explore a range of different types of dementia 
    • Consider a range of impairments that may be associated with dementia, in areas such as behavioural, cognitive & psychological, communication and physical
  • Discus a range of appropriate / best practice approaches, support and interventions to all of these impairments 
  • Appreciate the importance of social support for people with dementia





To book your place 

(using the attached application form), 

to be added to a waiting list for a course, or for further information contact:


Sheila Morris 

Tel: 029 20729477








Course Title:       


Date(s) or Expression of Interest (*Delete as appropriate)





We use this information to add your name to the training database

for this event and

to update your membership details







Gender is used to ensure equal access to all gender groups


Membership No.      


Last Name:                 First Name:     




Your home address:      




Phone number (day time):      



Female           Male            Other  



Details of the course will be sent by email so please give the one most likely to get through




Note – some employers have firewalls that block our emails so a personal email address would be preferable if you have one.



We use this information to ensure equal access to all branches



Your Branch:      



This information

tells us if you have any specific requirements that

will help you to

fully participate

in the course.


If you have access requirements, tell us here:       




Tell us here of there any learning support requirements.  For example do you require course materials in a different format, in large print, or on coloured paper?  




Food: Give details here if you have any special dietary requirements:  




Please note that we use your name and branch on the course register which is provided to all participants and the tutor in the course pack.

Any information given will be treated in the strictest confidence and will only be used for the purposes stated on the form. This form and any attachments will be securely stored and destroyed after one year.

For more information on how UNISON uses your personal data, please go to:

This course is funded by UNISON and provided free to unison members.  Lunch will be provided.

Confirmation of course attendance will be sent after the closing date.  

Once confirmation has been received, please advise us ASAP if you are no longer able to attend.


Member Learning Programme Spring[...]
Microsoft Word document [363.0 KB]

Dear Colleague


Please find attached the latest Member Learning Programme.


Places are still available on all courses listed.    


These courses are FREE for UNISON members


Please share this information amongst your colleagues so they don’t miss out.


We look forward to hearing from you!



Sheila Morris (Secretary)

Unison Cymru/Wales

Extension: 477

Direct Dial: 02920 729477



Free Part-Time Access Course from The Open University in Wales


Do you know learners who are ready to take the first steps into higher education?


To open up higher education, The Open University in Wales is offering a number of free places on the People, work and society Access course for people living in targeted postcode areas*  in Wales. This project is funded by the three Reaching Wider partnerships in Wales.


These courses are delivered part-time through distance learning, and are very flexible for learners.


After completing the Open University course, students will be able to either continue their studies with The Open University or will be guaranteed an interview at one of the partner institutions.


  • Places for this project are limited so please pass the course information on to any learners who may want to apply as soon as possible.


  •          Learners need to live in eligible postcode areas


  • Those who aren’t eligible for this project, but are on a low household income may be able to secure other funding for study through The Open University


Apply now


Learners can find out if they are eligible, request more information and an application pack through this webform .

Sponsored places will fill up soon, the Access course starts in October 2018.

We are taking applications now!