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Summer School

Usdaw runs two Summer Schools every year. These six-day residential courses are held at Hillscourt, Birmingham during September.

First Series Summer School 2024: 8 - 13 September

First Series Summer School is open to all members – though it is predominantly aimed at reps - and provides the opportunity for activists to learn more about their role, how the Union operates on a local, regional and national level and meet other like-minded reps from different companies and from across the UK.

Watch more of our Summer School videos.
The week is run in a supportive, friendly and informal manner. Those who have been to Summer School always say it deepened their knowledge, boosted their confidence and improved their communication skills.

The course has a broad agenda that, amongst other things, looks at:

  • The role and function of trade unions
  • Organising the workplace
  • Presentation skills
  • Equality

Second Series Summer School 2024: 22 - 27 September

Second Series Summer School is open to more experienced reps who have been to First Series Summer School. Previous Health & Safety training is required to be eligible for the Health & Safety Seminar Group.

Watch more of our Summer School videos.

Reps choose one of four subjects to study during the week, these are: Politics and Organising, Women and Organising, Trade Unions and Organising, and Health & Safety and Organising.

Politics and Organising The Politics and Organising seminar group is primarily concerned with strengthening the connection between the Union's industrial objectives and its political affiliation. The school aims to establish trade unions as an essential element of a modern economy by examining the development of western political economy before considering how workplace campaigning can be extended into the political arena, and the role that Usdaw has to play in the formation of Labour Party policy.
Women and Organising This course aims to build knowledge and skills to organise, mainly around women in the workplace. It explores subjects such as fair pay, equality, family friendly policies as well as other up to date issues which affect our members. The course entails looking at how we can use Usdaw resources as well as others to organise and promote fair treatment.
Trade Unions and Organising This course aims to develop activists' campaigning skills and understanding of Usdaw's organising strategy. We will look at different organising models from other countries and unions and examine important events and disputes in trade union history to look at what lessons can be learned from these about organising. The course will also look at how and why trade unions organise internationally, and discuss some international projects that Usdaw is involved in.
Health & Safety and Organising This aims to equip activists with the knowledge and skills needed to make their workplaces safer for their members. It will give an opportunity to share experience on the problems members face at work. The course will look at issues such as risk assessments, workplace inspections, health and safety legislation and stress at work. It aims to look at how health and safety can be used to organise and recruit workers. 

Reps also run a campaign day in a nearby town.

For both schools the Union provides accommodation, food, and transport costs.

Branches receive information and application forms in January regarding the Schools, and applications must be submitted to the Regional Officer by approximately late March (full details on the letter to branches). Nominations go before the National Executive Council at their June meeting.

For further information complete our form.



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