The ULR toolkit
Working with your branch
Whether you are based in your school/college or in a branch, it is important to be in regular contact with your branch committee and secretary. They will be the ones that should help you to secure time off for your role, to get funding for some events through the branch training grant and generally support you if you have any issues. If you have not already done so, find out who your branch secretary is and contact them to introduce yourself.
Working with other reps in the school/college
If you are a workplace ULR, you may be working with other workplace union reps. Each has a role to play in ensuring that not only is there a local ATL presence but also members are engaged and involved in their union. Other than the ULR role, there should also be a school/college rep and a health and safety rep: together they form the ATL school/college team.
A school/college rep:
- acts as the 'eyes and ears' of ATL in the workplace
- represents members and provides them with a voice at work
- recruits new members and disseminates information with existing members.
A health and safety rep:
- educates members to ensure they recognise all health and safety issues
- talks and works with members about how health and safety issues can be solved
- works with other unions and employers to ensure positive outcomes when dealing with potential health and safety issues.
If there isn't a school or health and safety rep in your workplace, then think about who might make a good one and ask them if they would be interested. Alternatively, you may be interested in combining your ULR role with another role. If so, contact your learning organiser.
What kind of ULR are you? ULR job descriptions
A branch ULR
Working alongside the branch secretary and committee, a branch ULR develops and promotes CPD and lifelong learning to all members within their branch, mentors new workplace ULRs and recruits more school and ULRs into the branch. They represent members formally on matters relating to CPD and lifelong learning. Their role might include the following:
Expanding learning opportunities for members:
- working with the branch and school reps to survey members about access to learning, including lifelong learning and CPD
- organising branch learning events and supporting members with learning needs;
- assisting staff in accessing funding for learning where appropriate;
- working with schools, LAs and learning providers.
Recruiting other ULRs:
- encouraging members who may not have been union active before to get involved in ATL and participate in the branch through learning activities
- identifying, supporting and mentoring new branch network of school or college-based ULRs with the learning organiser.
Working with other members and their branch
- sitting on the branch committee, working with other committee members and playing a strategic role in the planning, costing, and running of member led branch events
- highlighting learning as part of the branch agenda and offering a chance to address inequalities for branch members in access to learning and training
- working with the learning organiser, branch secretary and LA to negotiate a learning agreement to cover time off to perform the role
- developing and promoting CPD and lifelong learning policies with employers and learning providers
- raising awareness and promoting the benefits of learning with the employer and employees
- where appropriate, brokering the provision of learning with training providers.
- being actively involved in any regional networks of branch-based ULRs
- collecting project information (e.g. learner outcomes) for feedback to learning organisers.