Branch activists and lay member education & training

Education and training is essential if the branch is to have active representatives and a fully represented and informed membership. To achieve this a number of courses are on offer provided by UNISON and other providers of training to trade unionists.

Some of these are designed specifically for our activists and some for the lay members. All are enjoyable, informative and give the opportunity to meet members of other branches of UNISON and other trade unions and share experiences.

2016 Training Programme

Leeds UNISON is running several in-house training courses this year for UNISON stewards.  Legislation states that training must be undertaken by stewards to enable you to fulfil your role as a steward, and you also need to undergo training to become a fully accredited Unison steward.  If you haven’t already attended the courses below please do consider attending – they are free and we apply for your paid time off.

If you are interested in attending any of these branch courses, please contact the branch office on (0113) 245 8442, or email The courses take place at the UNISON Branch Office, are accredited and the tutor is a TUC trainer/lecturer from Leeds City College.

UNISON Steward Induction Course

The UNISON Stewards Induction Course is a short course designed to give stewards an understanding of how the Branch works, the background to UNISON’s aims and policies, and the role of the steward in representing members and dealing with Management.

If you are a new steward, or one who has not received formal branch stewards training, the Stewards Induction Course would be an excellent starting point in your training.  The branch is running two Stewards Induction courses this year. 

The courses are taking place on: -

Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 April 2016  


UNISON Introduction to Health and Safety Course

Leeds UNISON is running two Health and Safety Introductory courses. 
The courses are primarily aimed at stewards who have had no experience of Trade Union Health and Safety training courses and stewards who have had no recent Health and Safety training.  The courses are taking place on: -

Wednesday 22 to Friday 24 June 2016

Stewards who have attended the Stewards Branch Induction Course and/or UNISON Introduction to Health & Safety course may also be interested in attending one the 12 week day-release courses held at the Trade Union Studies department at Leeds City College. 


UNISON Dealing with Grievances and Disciplinaries Course

Leeds UNISON is running some more courses on Dealing with Grievances and Disciplinaries. 

These courses are suitable for stewards who have already undertaken either the Branch Stewards Induction Course or the TUC Union Representatives Stage One or Two courses at Leeds City College, Park Lane Campus and have some experience of being a steward.  The courses are taking place on:

Wednesday 11 to Friday 13 May 2016


UNISON Stewards Refresher Training

This course is for stewards who have previously completed the Stewards Induction Course but more than 5 years ago.

Tuesday 21 to Wednesday 22 June 2016
Wednesday 13 to Thursday 14 July 2016


General advice

For activists

UNISON Regional courses are run throughout the year and are either residential or non-residential depending on the duration of the course and the subject content. The full programme can be viewed on the Regional website at following the link to the Education Programme and application forms can be downloaded. Or you can talk to someone in the Regional Education Office on 0845 355 0845 or contact the Branch Office on 0113 245 8442. Some UNISON courses are run on a national basis and details can be found at and follow the link to Learning And Organising Services.

Park Lane College, Leeds – Department of Trade Union Studies and Bradford College – Trade Union Studies Centre provide similar courses organised by the TUC. These courses vary in duration from one or two days to a year depending on the subject.  Both Centres have the courses timetabled to run in terms and some are run in each term. Full details can be obtained from the Branch Office on 0113 245 8442. Other courses for activists are provided by other organisations such as the Northern College and the branch often sends delegates to other training events on specialist topics. Note that some of these may require and overnight stay.

The branch also sponsors an award for the best student on a TUC training course.  This is presented at an annual award evening.


For lay members

Lay members are members of UNISON who do not hold any activist position but who are interested in the activities of UNISON with respect to the rank and file membership. Most of these courses are provided by the Region and apply in the main to those members who identify with one of the four Self Organised Groups (SOGs) – Black members, Disabled members, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender members or Women members. Details can be viewed on the Regional website at following the link to the Education Programme and application forms can be downloaded. Or you can talk to someone in the Regional Education Office on 0845 355 0845 or contact the Branch Office on 0113 245 8442.

How to apply

All applications for courses must be submitted via the Branch Office as they have to be agreed by the branch. Approved applications will be then forwarded on your behalf to the appropriate training provider and copies kept by the Branch Office in case of query and so that a record of activist training can be maintained. Note that applications that have not been agreed are often returned and this can delay a place on a course being confirmed or accepted. Applications should be returned as early as possible to the Branch Office at:

Geoff Hodgson House
Woodhouse Lane
Leeds LS2 9EN
Fax 0113 245 8442

All courses are free to members as courses costs are paid by the Branch. Any travel or subsistence expenses are paid in accordance with the branch’s policy. Details can be obtained from the Branch Office on 0113 245 8442.

Crèche facilities are not always provided on training courses so check beforehand with the training provider. Any care arrangements are the responsibility of the member undertaking training.