PCS regions are now beginning to promote online training to keep as much of the union’s education programme running as possible, after face-to-face courses were cancelled due to the Covid-19 crisis.
Online training is important for tackling the many urgent issues being brought to reps’ attention during this difficult period, and also for providing introductions to union activity for the many members coming forward at present who are eager to help out and get involved in PCS.
Our converted courses are using a combination of Zoom-based webinars, featuring presentations and break-out ‘room’ discussions, TUC bite-sized e-Notes, links to written material, quizzes and college Moodle platforms.
In London and the South-East we have this month piloted online versions of our short racism and intolerance and mental health awareness courses. Next week a safe return to workplaces health and safety short course will be trialled with our reps in the culture sector in London. Yorkshire and Humberside region has piloted combatting domestic abuse and green reps and climate justice.
In the North West, as well as the domestic abuse workshop, the region will be piloting online versions of our bullying, cancer in the workplace and women’s courses. South West is piloting our menopause in the workplace course, while Northern region is planning to host the media and communications workshop. More courses will be established as the summer term goes on.
Where places are available, most regions will be able to allow participants from other parts of the country on to their online courses, where funding rules allow for this; contact your PCS region to find out about availability.
If any PCS groups or branches want help in putting on particular online organising webinar sessions or short courses, such as on mentoring, staff inductions or union advocates, email email@example.com
For members who are getting involved as reps for the first time, our usual classroom workplace reps, health and safety reps and union learning rep courses are suspended, however all TUC Colleges in UK regions are laying on online versions of their reps programmes. We encourage branches to steer their new reps to registering for these during the Coronavirus lockdown through the TUC national education reps courses page.
Finally, remember that the short online PCS courses are open to all PCS members. It is a great way to get involved in union activity for the first time. Through our work with the Union Learning Fund projects in England, Wales and Scotland there is also a broad range of skills, professional development, apprenticeships and other learning opportunities. Speak to your branch’s union learning rep, or your regional learning officer for more information.