Trade Union Studies Department
The TUC centre at Southampton City College has been supporting trade union representatives training and education since 1981; providing teaching and meeting facilities to trade unions. During that time the Department has grown immensely and is constantly developing its course programme in order to offer the most relevant training and education to the many trade union reps and members that have gone on to develop their role and careers using the skills and knowledge that they have acquired from our very experienced and supportive course tutors.
Trade Union Studies teaching staff are professionally qualified with industrial relations experience; having come up through the trade union movement and into trade union education.
Union learning Centre at Southampton City College:
In addition to the TUC centre TUS also has a unionlearn learning centre based at the college's main site; the unionlearn logo for their learning centres in 'unet'. This learning centre is equipped with its own support team consisting of professionally qualified project coordinator, administrator and Literacy, Numeracy & ICT tutors. The centre provides literacy, numeracy, ITQ level 1, ECDL levels 2 & 3 qualifications and other more informal learning opportunities to union members, their work colleagues and the community - see the 'unet' link on the menu on the left of this page for more information.
About the TUS Education Programme:
TUS offers a range of recognised TUC qualifications and courses which gain credits toward qualifications. These courses are only for Trade union representatives including:
- Workplace Union reps/steward
- Union Health & Safety Reps
- Union Learning reps (ULRs)
- Equality Reps
- Environment/Green Reps
Courses available from introduction to advanced and qualifications from Awards to Diplomas include:
- Health, Safety and welfare, mental health, work-life balance, cancer in the workplace etc
- Union representation & industrial relations
- Workplace organisation
- Employment Law
- Union learning and union learning reps
- Apprenticeships and the union role
- Skills - communication, meeting, presentation, negotiating, computing, confidence building, mentoring
Time off to learn
Union representatives who wish to attend TUC programmes should first ask their employer for time off with pay. Trade union reps have the right to paid time to attend a TUC or recognised union courses whether it is on their day of work or not; attending a course is equal to attending work. The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 and the Safety Representatives and Safety Committee Regulations 1977 give accredited union and safety representatives a legal right to reasonable time off with pay to attend courses approved by the TUC or their union. Guidance towards establishing what constitutes reasonable time off can be found in the ACAS Code of Practice (www.acas.org.uk/publications/pdf/CP03.pdf). Representatives who find difficulty in obtaining paid time off to attend TUC courses should seek assistance from their senior union representative or full-time union officer. Online learning should not be seen as an alternative to paid release from work. The law still applies, whether learning takes place away from work or in work, at a workstation or in a company learning centre. Reps should discuss and agree mutually suitable arrangements with their manager.