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Staff working in NATS, the UK’s air traffic control provider, are to protest outside the European Commission’s UK office in London on 30 January at 11.00am over fears that cost-cutting will lead to a drop in air traffic management (ATM) standards and affect service quality, safety and jobs.
The protest is against Single European Sky (SES 2+) proposals to hive-off support services, such as engineering, from ATM » More....
Write a letter or Email your MP about NATS future ownership
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) is responding to the expectation that nursing staff now face longer working lives. The RCN is developing a major initiative to build their members'
The work is part of the RCN's ULF project and they are working with unionlearn in pilot sites across a diverse range of trusts, services and sectors. The initiative is designed to empower union learning representatives (ULRs) to be able to provide advice and support to improve workplace learning and skills.
In particular, the union has identified two key groups to work with:
The RCN is seeking to develop ULRs'
Irene Murray, RCN ULF Learning and Development Facilitator, said
"The input of ULRs is vital to the success of this initiative. Our first capacity building event in Birmingham in April started the process off well, with us trialling the ?Value My Skills? cards among ourselves. But, what is exciting for us as a project and a union is that we have also had strong steward and health and safety rep engagement on this issue.
"They appreciate how this agenda can enable them to work with employers to ensure that members working longer can do so in ways which are safe and appropriate for the individual as well as productive for the organisation. What has also been great is that we will be able to link this work to other aims and objectives such as increasing and enhancing learning agreements and meeting the challenges of CPD and professional revalidation.
"We are also developing workshops on health and wellbeing to being delivered directly to members, as part of the same project."
A second Supporting Mid-life Development event is to be arranged for the 18 June at RCN HQ in London. A further roll-out of the activities and resources is expected from this event. The union is already tracking the progress of the ULRs who attended the April event, so that a quantitative and qualitative picture of the work and its impact can quickly begin to build.Adult & Community LearningMid-life DevelopmentQuality AwardSupporting learnersULRsWidening participationRCN
The Bank Holiday weekend marked the retirement of Billy Butterworth, former CWU North West Education and Learning Committee Secretary, at the Casa in Liverpool.
At his presentation, he thanked Colleagues Ray AtkinsonPaul Newsham
As a workplace rep and former Branch Secretary, Billy Butterworth pioneered learning in the CWU. He became a union learning rep in 2000 and setting up a union learning centre in Liverpool Community College. He later presided over the setup of centres at Royal Mail sites in Liverpool and Warrington.
Billy Butterworth will also be stepping down from his role teaching Trade Union Education in the summer, but intends to remain active within the union as a retired member.
Billy Butterworth said:
Adult & Community LearningSupporting learnersULRsNorth WestCommunication Workers Union (CWU)
"I keep talking about us rather than me, because I want to stay involved, but also because in the trade union movement we are a family, a collective and a community."
Unionlearn published new research today, setting out the most up-to-date picture of the union advantage on training.
In short, the research shows that, once you strip out other factors, union members are a third more likely to receive regular training at work compared with non-unionised employees. It also shows that proactive union engagement in learning and skills in the workplace is directly associated with higher wages, better job security and improved organisational performance.
What makes this new study of particular interest is that it provides a picture of trends over time ? 2001 to 2013 ? rather than just a snapshot picture. Most interesting of all, it shows a significant strengthening of this positive union effect during, and following, the recent recession.
Drawing on data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), this chart highlights the trend:
The gap between the two lines indicates the union "mark-up"
This trend is explained by the proportion of union members reporting regular access to training increasing from 36.8% to 38.9% and non-members reporting a decline in access during this period (down from 23.4% to 22.9%).
To my mind, this trend suggests further evidence of the positive role that unions have played in negotiating with employers to minimise lay-offs and to safeguard skills during the recession and in its aftermath.
In order to explore the union effect in more detail, the researchers also undertook analysis of the latest Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS).
Unlike the LFS, the WERS dataset includes information about union learning reps and whether unions negotiate or consult with employers on training issues.
The analysis of WERS shows that three aspects of union presence ? union recognition, union negotiation and consultation over training and the existence of union learning reps (ULRs) ? are all associated with higher levels of training received by employees.
Crucially, this part of the research also shows that in those workplaces, employees are also more likely to earn higher wages and have better job security.
Other findings demonstrate the business case for the union learning agenda. For example, in workplaces where unions are making a difference on training, there is evidence of a positive impact on overall organisational performance.
So the research clearly demonstrates that the union learning agenda is a win-win situation for both employers and employees. But one could also argue that where unions take the lead on learning and skills, the likelihood is that productivity is also boosted.
While the research did not technically measure this specific impact, I think it is justifiable to argue that the evidence of higher pay, better job security and improved organisational performance suggest a productivity boost in those workplaces where a proactive union learning agenda was in place.
If only more of our workplaces fell into this category, maybe UK plc would not have come out of the recession with an abysmal performance on productivity and wage growth.
Iain Murray is Strategy Manager with unionlearn.
Iain is responsible for managing strategy and policy work
A new report shows that trade union members are much more likely to receive job-related training compared to non-unionised workers. The report, "Skills and training: the union advantage", was produced by unionlearn and the Centre for Employment Relations, Innovation & Change.
The report analyses data for the period 2001-2013 and shows that the "union effect"
The analysis finds that, during and after the recent recession, the advantage of being in a trade union for job-related training was even more pronounced. Between 2008 and 2013, the proportion of union members accessing regular training went up from 36.8 per cent to 38.9 per cent. The trend for non-unionised employees was the opposite ? down from 23.4 per cent to 22.9 per cent.
Nearly four in ten union members received job-related training in 2013, compared to just over two in ten non-union members.
The report also found that, in those workplaces where a union advantage on training could be identified, workers enjoyed the added benefit of a boost to wage levels and job security. Employers also reported an overall improvement in employee performance in such workplaces.
Frances O?Grady, TUC General Secretary, said:
Supporting learnersULRsWidening participation
?The evidence shows it is possible to have a win-win situation for both employers and employees, and that unions are playing a hugely positive role in boosting skills and productivity.
"The bounce back in training in unionised workplaces in recent years is further evidence of the positive role unions have played in negotiating with employers to minimise layoffs and to safeguard skills since the recession hit the UK economy.
"It also shows that unions can play to their strengths in those workplaces with active union learning representatives and where the union negotiates directly with the employer about learning and skills."
I am one of three new Learning Campaign Support Officers across the country in unionlearn. I have responsibility for covering the Midlands and Yorkshire & Humber regions. This new post opens exciting opportunities to communicate widely the importance of union learning, the successes of learning projects and the positive influences learning brings to working people lives.
For the last 10 years, I've had the privilege to work on various organising, learning
Since arriving in the UK from Lithuania in 2004, I have been working within the trade union movement, supporting some of the most vulnerable people within workplaces and communities. I have been engaged in learning, organising and recruitment campaigns across the Midlands region for 10 years.
Prior to working for unionlearn, I was part of the GMB organising team in the Midlands. I worked predominantly in food and drink sector, recruiting and organising workers with specific emphasis on vulnerable workers.
I joined unionlearn in 2008 and, since then, I have been working on various regional learning and development projects. I am personally and professionally committed to the learning, equality and diversity agenda. Our society is more diverse than ever and our role and duty as trade unionists and educationists is to ensure that learning is accessible to all.
Last year, I was seconded to the TUC to deliver support to unions working in sectors with large groups of migrant workers. I also helped in building community partnerships and assisted unions to bring together learning, organising and union activists? development.
My new role is to support unions and ULF projects in enhancing their promotional and communications work around union learning. The main focus of the job will be to promote the great work that unions and ULF projects are doing in the region to create, encourage and support learning in the workplace.
I will need your help in identifying good union learning stories so we can show good practice and success stories with wider audiences using social media channels such as websites, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
No success story is too small, if the union learning experience changes even one life, that is already a big story in itself. Union learning is making a positive impact on working people's lives every day and my job is to make sure that it's celebrated, heard and shared within wider audiences.
I would like to hear about your stories and bring them to a wider audience by writing about:
Please contact me if you can help me promote the excellent work that you are doing and the positive impact that you are making in workplaces around the Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber regions.
This new post opens exciting opportunities to communicate widely the importance of union learning, the successes of learning projects and the positive influences learning brings to working people lives.
Jurgita Pranculyte is a Learning Campaign Support Officer for TUC unionlearn.