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Thursday 15 June 2017

Building our network of local support

By MiP

MiP’s first eight reps are already in action, following a successful pilot training course in May. The union’s development programme for reps and link members will offer you a new level of workplace support.

Group of reps

MiP’s first reps have taken up their roles following the successful pilot of our new training course in May. The course was attended by eight existing link members keen to develop their work representing and speaking up for MiP members in the workplace.

The reps training course follows on from the basic training course undertaken by link members and aims to equip reps with the skills and knowledge they need to do more advanced union work, such as negotiating with local employers, supporting members with problems at work and representing MiP in partnership forums. Members who have successfully completed the course become accredited MiP reps and work closely with the MiP national officer looking after their region.

The two day course introduces reps to the way the union works and covers a wide range of skills including negotiating, chairing meetings, employment rights and partnership working. Trainees examine a number of case studies, and discuss how they would handle situations arising in their own workplaces. They also consider how they can best use their existing skills in their union work.{boxout head}

What our reps learn

The two-day MiP reps’ course covers the basics of what you need to know to support and represent members locally, including:

  • The role of MiP reps
  • Representing members
  • Negotiating with employers
  • Chairing meetings
  • Working in partnership forums
  • Employment rights
  • Unfair dismissal

Pilot course

The pilot course, which took place in London on 4-5 May, was facilitated by Unison education officer Jim Lewis, working with MiP national officers Corrado Valle and Claire Pullar, and MiP’s office manager, Billy Turner, who runs the training programme.

Feedback from delegates was positive, and their comments will be used to refine and improve the course for the future. “The course met all the outcomes, provided excellent networking opportunities and good course materials,” said Gail Bannister, a new rep from MiP’s north-east region.

With trained reps already taking up their new roles and with more courses planned, Turner says the union is hoping to quickly expand its network of local support. “For example, we have two reps in Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals who are now accompanying members to 1-2-1 consultations. This provides a new level of support, as our national officers cannot normally attend such meetings with members,” he explains.

Expanding local support

The reps training programme comes at a crucial time for MiP, as the union seeks to expand the support it offers members in response to the widespread and complex changes expected to be unleashed by Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs).

MiP chief executive Jon Restell said: “Many employers are enthusiastic about the development of MiP reps because they can help support organisational change and encourage good team-working in organisations under severe pressure. Our reps offer a powerful blend of management and trade union skills, and can help to tackle problems in the workplace and make sure staff are properly consulted and involved in system changes.”

If you’re interested in training to become an MiP link member or rep, please contact Billy Turner: b.turner@miphealth.org.uk

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