Activist Education


Through our Education Programmes we are able to empower our activists and members to have a stronger and more confident approach when organising as a union. Our courses enable activists to speak with confidence when negotiating with employers and speaking in public. In consultation with the Regional Development and Organising Committee the decision has been taken to cancel all class-based activist and member learning courses during the pandemic.

All learning is now online until further notice

2021 Prog Q1

Q2 dates to follow and will be updated soon.

2021 – UNISON South West Activists Learning Offer

The release of our 2021 programme may look a little different this year. Due to the current climate the Education & Equalities Team has decided to release learning offers for each quarter. We will be using our webpage and social media to keep everyone up to date with current learning offers for activists.
Please use the booking links to reserve a space. We encourage all applicants to inform their Branch Secretary or Education Officer in their branch that they have applied and have had a space confirmed
In the meantime thank you for your patience and understanding.If you have any queries please email us:

South West Education & Equalities Team


Quarter 2

Courses – Our next available course for new stewards:

The Organising Steward (online)

29 April, 6, 13, 20 & 27 May 9.30 am –4.30pm each date  

 Apply here


 8, 15, 22, 29 June & 6 July – 9.30 am – 4.30 pm each date 

Apply here  

This course consists of a three-hour online meeting, on the days above, plus remote learning via an online learning platform totalling 30 hours of learning over 5 weeks.

The course aims to develop your skills, knowledge and confidence to enable you to carry out the role of a steward in UNSION, including to:

• Understand the role of an organising union in public services

• Work with members to tackle issues in the workplace

• Work with members in resolving cases

• Know where and when to seek advice and guidance

• Understand how procedures work in practice


Courses – Our next available course for new Heath & Safety Reps are:

30 hours over 5 weeks including 2.5-hour online sessions on dates below: 

10, 17, 24 June, 1 & 8 July – 9.30 am – 12.00 pm 

This online version of the Stage 1 Health and Safety Course is aimed at new Health and Safety Representatives.  

The course will cover: 

  • The role of the H&S Rep  
  • The rights of the H&S rep and health and safety law  
  • Responsibilities of the employer 
  • Carrying out workplace inspections 
  • Understanding Risk Assessment 
  • Organising around health and safety issues  
  • Raising health and safety issue with the employer 

Apply here 


2020 saw over 100 new activists trained!

Over 100 new activists have completed trained during the COVID-19 Pandemic …….Zooming into homes across the South West, our regional education team have trained 107 new workplace representatives so far this year………..


Its great so many new volunteers have stepped forward to help organise and strengthen our union.


 Volunteering can be so rewarding. What is a UNISON Steward?

Elected workplace stewards

Workplace stewards are the heart of our trade union. UNISON’s stewards are the reason we win campaigns that result in better lives for our members and all working people. Stewards help to organise your colleagues into an effective, strong and welcoming membership. They:

  • Are the first point of contact for members in a workplace
  • Talk to members about the union
  • Talk to staff about their issues
  • Offer advice on issues at work
  • Represent members in cases (including at disciplinary and grievance hearings).
  • Campaign for better working conditions
  • Recruit and organise new members
  • Encourage more members to get active in UNISON
  • Raise your members’ issues with the branch.

Take a look at other roles you can get more involved in:

Want to know more – Click HERE!