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Branch Annual Reports 2010

Branch Official's & Area Rep's Report's can be found
on their respective pages

CWU First Class Learning Centre

Annual Report 2010


Copperas Hill Learning Centre:

In last year's annual report I mentioned the fact that it could well be the last written in Liverpool, and so it's turned out to be. It is from our new centre in Warrington that I reflect on the past twelve months and look forward to the coming year.

At Copperas Hill we were already a recognised test centre for Learndirect; and it was in March that we were independently assessed for the quality of our provision. As a result we were awarded Matrix accreditation, which is a kind of British kite mark for quality provision. This was real acknowledgement for what the union had provided over a number of years. You must also take into consideration that this was achieved with very little input from the employer, which is a credit to our Union Learner Representatives (ULRs) some of whom had little experience prior to getting involved in the learning agenda.

During the summer, and in addition to the courses we were already running, we presented Learning at Work day. The event covered: women's health issues, the advantages of retired membership and included a number of literacy and numeracy activities which yielded some prizes. Quick read materials, linked to BBC activities, were also made available. This was successful in that 110 people signed in and took part.

In the run up to the Warrington move the learning centre provided resources and support to people who were thinking of leaving the business, whether to retire completely or to gain qualifications to help their future job prospects. The feedback was that we were more helpful than Clear Choice or No Choice as colleagues preferred to call them.

Through Response to Redundancy (R2R) provision, colleagues from Quadrant and RoMEC had been supported in the preparation of CVs and interview techniques. They were also given advice and guidance on free retraining courses funded through the response to redundancy stream. R2R came about through Paul Allen's TUC project. During the course of the year Paul and Carl Dalton, who had worked on the Digital Divide project, have done a great job on behalf of the branch. Carl's work has extended throughout the North West and he has set us up as a provider of Learndirect across the region.

Warrington Learning Centre:

To date a number of meetings have taken place with little progress being made. To offer the benefit of the doubt, a major move running into the Christmas pressure period hasn't helped but we will measure the depth of managements' commitment to learning in the new-year. Business Transformation agreement anyone…? On the issue of facilities for ULRs to do their jobs effectively; a national framework agreement is currently being negotiated, until this is finally ironed out existing agreements will hold the field.

Although a learning centre is on site it is – in my opinion – inadequate for what we offer as a learning centre. There are better facilities currently being used as dumping grounds, which are more accessible than the current set up, and this will be followed up in the new-year.


The facility at West Derby D.O came to a grinding halt this year. The room that was promised as a learning centre – I am told – is to be given to the POID, as no alternative accommodation was thought of when they were to leave Copperas Hill. This is another example of our delivery members being excluded despite the best efforts and expense (the purchase of lap-tops) being made by the CWU.

We recruited two new ULRs in Ormskirk; Stuart Lee and Lorraine Carter. Lorraine has completed the ULR 1 course and seems to be a very enthusiastic and positive addition to our branch.

We do need to provide for our delivery colleagues and will do so where the need is identified. If anyone has any ideas or requests over the coming months please get in touch with the branch and we will do everything we can to accommodate the request.


Three of our colleagues have now successfully completed their ITQ qualifications.

We are also ready to run NVQs in Customer Care & Administration. Funding through ‘Train to Gain' is being used and an agreement between Parcelforce, the CWU and Knowsley Community College is in place to provide support and assessment. The bonus at Parcelforce is that a match-time-off agreement has been secured to assist learners achieve their goals. We have also provided an Introduction to Spanish evening class at the site.

Finally, at this time of year, it is traditional to thank colleagues for their support and efforts over the passed twelve months. This year due to the closure of Copperas Hill, we have had to contend with difficulties over and above the normal. Therefore, I would like to thank our members, learners who have accessed learning at our centre and ULRs for their patience in our bid to maintain current standards whilst trying to set up a new learning centre worthy of the name of our branch; I'm confident we will get there in the months ahead.

Learning Centre Web-site:

W. Butterworth

Learning Centre


December 2010



Branch Web Editors Annual Report 2010

Over the past 12 months I have been trying to develop the Branch website in to a source of information & resources that is useful to all branch members.

I have tried to make it more professional looking and easier to navigate.

On the branch website all section secretaries and branch officers now have there own pages on the website, so all members can find information that is relevant to them as well as branch & CWU national news.

The competition the branch ran in conjunction with UIA insurance to build up the branch email database received a high number of entrants and congratulations must go to the branch member from Garston DO that won the ipod touch that was donated by UIA insurance.

I feel the branch website showed what a valuable asset it can be to branch members during the long drawn out Business Transformation 2010 & Beyond negotiations and then the subsequent ballot. In that the branch was able to post the most up to date information available on the website and send out email updates to those members who had registered with the branch.

Another element of the branch website that has proved useful especially for CWU representatives is the national agreements sections; This is updated on a regular basis.

I would like to thank all the branch members who have visited the site over the past year, and hope you will keep visiting us in the New Year as the numbers are growing.

I would also like to thank all the branch officers & section secretaries

who gave me the information to post on the website for our members attention.

Ian Corrin

Branch Web-Editor

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  CWU Merseyside Amalgamated Branch
Branch: 0151 709 1243
Fax: 0151 709 8269
Contact: Web Editor
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