Trade Union Management Programme (T.U.M.P) 2022

Ideal for Executive Committee members, professional officers and senior national officials responsible for managing Trade Unions at regional or national level.

Covering effective operational development, strategic thinking, problem solving, financial efficiency, personnel management, long term planning, these are all critical aspects of union management and will be covered by this whole programme.

View the programme here.

View the application form here.

NEW Trade Union & Community Specialist Courses 2021/22 

The GFTU has responded to the concerns of unions to develop members to train and inspire other members in workplace organisation and community engagement by creating three specialist courses found below.

Reconnecting Trade Unions & Community Organisations: Working with the Community as Trade Unionists

Fill in the application form here

Reconnecting Trade Unions & Community Organisations: Developing Trade Union Strategy for Community Development

Fill in the application form here

Trade Union Education for all: Ideas & Methods

Fill in the application form here

Townsend Theatre Productions: New Musical

Townsend Theatre Productions

In association with University of Manchester, The Place Theatre Bedford & Unite the Union


“Yes! Yes! UCS!”

a new musical playby Neil Gore celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders’ “Work-In” of 1971-2.

It’s 1971 and Aggy McGraw, straight out of school, gets an office job at Fairfields shipyard in Govan a week before the new Tory government decides to stop any investment in what they call ‘lame duck’ industries, which includes shipbuilding on the Clyde. Facing an uncertain future, she has nothing to lose, except her job, and is swept up into the famous ‘Work In’ to demonstrate to the government that shipbuilding has a future – that the jobs, traditions, skills and communities can be saved. 

Townsend Theatre Productions’ new play Yes! Yes! U.C.S!is a celebration of the community solidarity and collective resistance inspired and led by Upper Clyde Shipbuilders’ shop stewards Jimmy’s Reid and Airlie, attracting massive national and international support that led to victory in the fight for Right to Work.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono sent a bunch of roses 

with message for the people of Glasgow; it read:

 “Power to the People!”

Special Conference – November 30th 2021

Community organisations and trade unions
Special Conference November 30th, Quorn Grange Hotel

GFTU in partnership with Communication Workers’ Union, invites you to a special event on November 30th 2021 at Quorn Grange Hotel, 10:30am-4:30pm, sponsored by Morrish Solicitors.

Trade unions represent workers at work and seek dignity in the workplace. Community organisations represent people and seek dignity in society. The two sectors share the same values. There is increasing dialogue and sharing of opportunities and services between the two. Opening up a world of new partnerships and mutual understanding could strengthen both. This important conference will develop these themes and explore the best practice of working together.

Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

To book evening meals or overnight accommodation please contact Quorn Grange Hotel directly on 01509 412167 /

Please return to Claire Ryan by November 15th. For further enquiries please contact Doug Nicholls via or Liam Young via

View the details here.

Download the booking form here.

ACAS Learning Online

Acas Learning Online is a package of free e-learning modules.

They cover a range of employment, management and HR issues, including:

Covid-19 vaccinations in the workplace (new)
This new e-learning course offers good practice advice on how employers can best support staff to get Covid-19 vaccinations and explains the recent law introduced by the Government around vaccinations in certain settings. We cover how to agree a vaccine policy that’s appropriate for your workplace, staff who may be exempt and how to strike that balance between protecting the health of staff whilst maintaining good working relationships to help avoid disputes in the future.
Try Covid-19 vaccinations in the workplace e-learning today

Other e-learning topics include:  Flexible working  –  mental health in the workplace  –  change management  –  contracts of employment  –  recruitment and induction  –  discipline and grievance  –  handling redundancies  –  managing absence

Access free Acas e-learning here

WEA announces a mutual membership with GFTU to build communities and skills


24 September 2021

WEA announces a mutual membership with GFTU to build communities and skills

The WEA (formerly known as the Workers’ Educational Association) and the GFTU (General Federation of Trade Unions) has announced a unique mutual membership bringing discounted WEA membership to GFTU members and GFTU affiliate membership to WEA staff and Tutors. 
This significant initiative aims to bring the strength of unions and community organisations together to build communities, skills, and collective voice. The WEA will bring its expertise as charity provider of adult education, deeply embedded in local communities, to strengthen GFTU’s existing support and training for local representatives – empowering a strong adult education voice. 
Born out of a desire to bring the study of the arts and humanities to workers, the WEA has a long history of working with Unions to bring education, skills and aspiration to all communities.   
The WEA’s social justice mission, means it has developed strong programmes across the country in areas of multiple deprivation, where community building, confidence building and support to develop key employability skills have been vital. The WEA’s small group, informal learning approach based in community settings attracts those furthest from study and often in greatest need for support. 
GFTU trade unions and members will receive a number of WEA benefits from this mutual membership including discounted course programmes, networking opportunities, WEA magazine, weekly lectures and newsletters.
Particularly important to this initiative, are the WEA’s strong links and working partnerships with thousands of community organisations across the country.
Simon Parkinson, CEO of WEA, said,
“We’re excited about this new mutual membership agreement with GFTU. Working together unions and community organisations can play a significant part in building and strengthening communities and giving them a voice.  I’m looking forward to the skills exchange between our two organisations’ tutors and members and co-developing innovations in adult education policy.
If the WEA can help the GFTU to forge relationships with our existing partners, and together we can help communities develop confidence, skills and a voice through both our education programmes, we’ll be delivering by our social justice mission – empowering learners and building communities.”
Doug Nicholls, General Secretary of GFTU said:

 “If we are to rebuild civil society and the economy it is vital that there is a new deal for workers and their communities and a revival of lifelong learning. This new development between the WEA and GFTU indicates the way ahead and represents a bold step with a trade union federation opening membership to major community providers.”

Trade Union Official End Point Assesors

Many congratulations to the first 9 trade unionists who have completed the first part of their qualification to become End Point Assessors of the quality of training on the new trade union officials’ apprenticeship scheme. The GFTU is the end point assessor of the training programme alongside the National Open College Network and provided the training to ensure that qualified assessors will be able to ensure quality standards on all of the courses. 

“The creation of a new national qualification for trade union officials is a major step forward for the Movement and making sure that there is consistency and rigour within the training is a vital part of this,” said Doug Nicholls GFTU General Secretary, “we are very grateful to those colleagues who have stepped forward for this role and so successfully completed what has been an enjoyable but extremely demanding start to their training programme, we wish them every success with their studies over the next few months leading to their qualification next year. “

Special Conference: November 30th 2021

Community organisations and trade unions
Special Conference November 30th, Quorn Grange Hotel

Trade unions represent workers at work and seek dignity in the workplace. 
Community organisations represent people and seek dignity in society.
The two sectors share the same values.
There is increasing dialogue and sharing of opportunities and services between the two.
Opening up a world of new partnerships and mutual understanding could strengthen both.
This important conference will develop these themes and explore the best practice of working together.
To register your interest please contact

Good Cause Launch on 20th October 2021

The GFTU are launching a new lottery in the next few months and we are inviting affiliated Unions, partner organisations and friends of the GFTU to get involved. Not only is it a great idea to generate some income for the GFTU’s Educational Trust, to help us continue delivering fantastic learning opportunities for Activists, it will also benefit the people who sign up to play the lottery, as we have a prize pool with a jackpot of up to £25,000!

Are you interested in getting on board? Affiliates can sign up and generate funds for their own work and initiatives.

There will be a Good Causes Launch online on Wednesday 20th October at 2:00pm. Ticket sales will go live on the 16th November and the first draw will be on the 18th December, just before the festive break.

To find out more either watch the GFTU website or contact Ian Richards on 07903 523746 or email

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