Union learning reps

Learning in eastern region

PCS is at the forefront of developing learning and skills in the workplace. Union-led learning initiatives contribute to the wider aims of the union and showcase some of the positive work that PCS does.

The work of union learning reps (ULRs) seeks to widen the learning opportunities for reps and members and encourage a culture in which education and training is available to everyone. For members this can lead to an increase in self confidence, an improvement in job prospects and income, and an interest in becoming more active in the union and in the wider community. For branches it helps to build the branch, enhances the union image, and helps with recruitment and retention. For more information go to Learning with PCS.

Union learning reps

In the eastern region we currently have 90 union learning reps (ULRs) spread throughout the region and across departments. ULRs have statutory rights, including reasonable paid time off work for training and to carry out their duties. There is a PCS specific five day accredited training course for ULRs, or a TUC training course consisting of two five day courses held at local colleges. Working alongside other reps and officials, ULRs get involved in and support workplace and branch structures and the wider work of the union.

The ULR’s role is to encourage and support learning in the workplace for example:

  • provide information, advice and guidance to members on learning
  • arranging and supporting learning and training
  • analyse the learning and training needs of members
  • signpost members towards professional careers guidance, where appropriate
  • provide a channel of communication between members, branches, PCS regional office and learning services, and management
  • promoting the value of learning
  • negotiating with management on learning and training issues

For more information go to Union learning reps.

ULRs come into contact with more staff on a regular basis and are therefore in an excellent position to recruit non-members and gain awareness of the concerns of members. They also have a valuable role supporting the branch organiser with the mapping process and in identifying areas for recruitment initiatives. ULRs ensure that workplace learning is union-led and sustainable and can make a real difference to the union organisation and image in the workplace. Working together, ULRs and other branch officials can ensure work-based learning initiatives support the wider role of PCS.

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