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Making a Real Difference - ULR Survey

Making a Real Difference - ULR Survey

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Published by: Ajaan on Oct 09, 2008
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07/12/2010

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Making a realdifference
Union learningreps:
asurvey
 
Survey details
This survey of ULRs was carried out at the end of 2005 and the initial processing of the data wasundertaken by the Labour Research Department.Only ULRs in England were surveyed.In total, 841 people responded to the survey.Of these, 553 (66.5 per cent) were active as ULRs,116 (14 per cent) werenot currently ULRs and 162(19.5 per cent) did not respond to the questionabout their ULR status and therefore were notcounted as valid responses.
 
Foreword
Every day, these new-look union activists are encouraging colleagues toreturn to learning, ranging from Skills for Life courses to continuingprofessional development.And they are also raising the profile – and boosting the membership – of their own unions in the process.The good news is that the number of learning reps who havenever heldaunion position before continues to rise, and now stands at over one-third of the total of ULRs.Equally to be welcomed is the diversity of the ULR network, especiallybecause these new activists aremore likely to be women and morelikely to be younger, while the proportion of black and minority ethnicULRs continues to grow overall.And the negotiation of morelearning agreements is another mark of thesuccess of the union learning campaign, with over 60 per cent of ULRsnow saying they have agreements in place.But the bad news is that union learning reps continue to face somemajor obstacles to getting their job done – the biggest of which is time,with over two-fifths reporting this as a barrier – while employees facesimilar problems getting paid time off for learning and/or training.More employers need to realise how they can reap the benefits of alearning workforce, and offer greater supportboth to their ULRs and totheir employees.And the government should extend paid time off arrangements to moreworkers, to help ensure we get organised to acquire the skills we needto compete in the 21st centuryglobal economy.
Brendan Barber 
TUCGeneral SecretaryOctober 2006
Union learning reps are making an enormouscontribution to changing the workplace for thebetter – that much is clear from this latestsurvey, the third in the last six years.
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