The TUC has been fully committed to maintaining the provision of TUC Education in Lancashire, delivered by Blackburn, to support thousands of reps and trade union members. The college said that the current courses were not meeting the financial requirements and increased numbers were required to do this.
Despite the flawed proposal from the college to close the centre, which included claims of alternative trade union education provision in the North West being available at Shrewsbury, Leeds and a now closed centre in Burnley, and mistaking the TUC for a plant hire company in the North East, we have worked in good faith to support provision at Blackburn.
Working with trade unions in the region, we met the challenge set by the college to increase the number of unions and reps using the centre. This included commitments from Unite, Unison and PCS deliver their own reps courses at Blackburn. We delivered this proposal to the college.
The response from the college was to propose cutting the staffing at the centre by two-thirds to a single part time post – creating a situation where it simply isn’t possible to run an effective TUC Education Centre.
We believe that this decision is an act of bad faith after the TUC and unions met the college’s original challenge to expand the programme.
Whilst UCU continues to represent their members at the college, with the agreement of UCU the TUC must now take steps to make sure that unions and union reps in Lancashire aren’t adversely effected by the actions of the college.
It’s clear that Blackburn College are no longer serious about working with the TUC to provide training for union reps in Lancashire.
In the present political and economic environment it’s vital that union reps continue to have access to the training provided by TUC Education and the TUC will now, in continued consultation with UCU and other unions in the region, move to finding another partner college and delivering provision in the autumn term.
In the meantime, online provision is available for Lancashire reps and is advertised below. If anyone interested has any questions, please email Tony Saunders at email@example.com
Union Representative stage 1 – 10 Mondays starting 5th October, delivered online
Health and Safety stage 1 – 10 Tuesdays starting 6th October, delivered online
Next Steps (stage2) for Health and safety Reps – 10 Thursdays starting 8th October delivered online
Mental Health Awareness – 3 days 7/8/9th September delivered online
Ensuring Adequate Covid19 Risk Assessments 14/15/16th September delivered online
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