Human Resources

Role, accreditation and arrangements for Trade Union Learning Representatives

1.    Introduction:

An employee of the University who is both a member of a recognised trade union, and is elected, nominated and accredited as a union learning representative of that union, will be permitted reasonable time off during working hours to undertake his/her duties as a Trade Union Learning Representative, provided that:
•    the union has provided written notice to the University that the employee is a learning representative of that union; and
•    the employee is sufficiently trained to carry out his/her duties as a trade union learning representative.

2.    Training requirement:

To satisfy the training requirement the employee must be able to demonstrate to the trade union that he/she has received sufficient training to enable him/her to operate competently in one or more areas, these being:
•    analysing learning or training needs;
•    providing information and advice about learning or training matters;
•    arranging or supporting learning or training;
•    promoting the value of learning and training.

In most cases this will involve the completion by the employee of a training course approved by the trade union or the Trades Union Congress, or a demonstration to the trade union's satisfaction that the employee has previously gained the expertise and experience necessary to operate effectively as a trade union learning representative.

The employee must satisfy the "sufficient training" requirement either:
•    at the time the trade union gives notice to the University that he/she is one of its trade union learning representatives; or
•    within six months of that time - in which case the union must provide written notice to the University (a) that the employee will be undergoing the training and (b) that the employee has completed the training.

The University will consider extending this six-month limit where circumstances such as ill health, pregnancy or bereavement result in the employee's prolonged absence from work.

3.    Functions for which time off is permitted:

The functions for which the trade union learning representative will be permitted to take reasonable time off are:
•    to analyse learning or training needs;
•    to provide information and advice about learning and training matters;
•    to arrange learning or training;
•    to consult the employer about carrying on any such activities;
•    to prepare for any of the above activities; and
•    to undergo training relevant to the function of trade union learning representative.

4.    Nomination and Accreditation of Learning Representatives:

Elected and nominated learning representatives need to follow the process described in section 4.5 of the University’s Trade Union Recognition and Facilities Agreement, for their accreditation by the University.

5.    Procedure for requesting time off:

An employee who wishes to take time off to undergo his/her duties as a trade union learning representative must follow the process in paragraph 4.8 of the University’s Trade Union Recognition and Facilities Agreement.

6.    Payment for time off:

Learning Representatives have a right to paid time off work for their duties in line with section 3 above. They will be paid for this time in line with paragraphs 4.3 and 4.4 of the University’s Trade Union Recognition and Facilities Agreement.