Member Development Day


Member Development Day Southampton

Our first member development course for school support staff ran in Southampton on 4th March covering Managing Classroom Behaviour and Assertiveness and confidence building.

The course was well attended with 50 support staff, both members and non-members, from 22 different schools from across Hampshire and Southampton coming along. During the day we recruited new members and had a number of existing members agree to become contacts, stewards and ULRs through discussions with UNISON staff present on the day.

The day started with impassioned speeches from both Maggi Ferncombe (Regional Secretary) and Hayley Garner (Southampton Branch Secretary) about UNISON, the good work we do relating to education and reasons why members should become active, as well as highlighting some of the challenges we face as a union due to the vindictive TUBill.

Attendees were split into two groups with one group doing the Managing Classroom behaviour course, and the other doing Assertiveness and Confidence Building in the morning before swapping at lunch. Both courses went down well with many attendees expressing comments such as “The managing classroom behaviour was very informative, but the whole day was excellent” and “Best thing – Assertiveness and confidence activities”

During lunch, Emma Lipscombe (National Learning and Workforce Development Officer) spoke about the importance of ULR’s and the incredible work they do in helping colleagues get back into learning and learn new skills.

Feedback on the day was overwhelmingly positive, with one member stating that

“This was the first time I heard of UNISON as an organisation for learning and not solely for organising ballots, industrial action and advocating workers' rights, and this is what has finally struck a chord with me I felt a spark of enthusiasm, having found something through which I could, and I would love to, give something back to other TU members”

Another attendee exclaimed “I have learnt more in the past hour than I have in the past 16 years as a TA”

The course was delivered by the Open University and also the Workers Educational Association and was a great success and we look forward to running this course and similar courses again in the not too distant future.


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