A GMB Union Learning Rep at Nottinghamshire County Council was named winner of the Andy Becker Union Learning Rep Award at the 2018 TUC Midlands Reps Awards Night – held this year at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
Paul Glover works at the Eastcroft Depot in Nottingham as a Refuse Driver covering the local area and has recently become a Union Learning Rep (ULR) for GMB.
Paul struggled with Dyslexia at school, he received little support which resulting him not sitting any exams. However, Paul successfully completed his trade union course at Nottingham College with the support of the union and a Learning Support Assistant.
Martin Allen is Regional Secretary the GMB Midland & East Coast Region. Martin said:
Attending the course, and the support provided, has given Paul confidence in the classroom, understanding of the course content and enabled him to learn his role as a ULR. This has also inspired him to help other people who need extra support within his workplace.”
In June Paul wrote an article for his GMB regions website and explained that:
I am writing this article to raise awareness of disabilities in the workplace and to encourage others to come forward for help and advice. I’m here to listen and advise you about any issues you may be experiencing around disabilities and difficulties in the workplace and to sign-post you to the relevant services.”
Paul is well known within his workplace and people know that he has always been honest and open about his dyslexia. Because of his new position as ULR other workers have been approaching Paul and asking him for help with their learning problems. Paul has been able to signpost them not only to appropriate courses but also sign them up for membership.
Paul has struggled to read instructions, to fill in forms and to access training. Paul realised that he wasn’t alone and in some cases people were completing safety documentation that they didn’t fully understand as they were unable to read and could lead to future problems.
This experience has resulted in Paul setting up a group for people who struggle with literacy to help them understand the Safe Operations Procedure folder, building their confidence and skills as well as making the workplace a safer place.
TUC Midlands Regional Secretary Lee Barron, presenting Paul with his award, said:
This activist left school without sitting a single exam due to his learning disability in the form of dyslexia. His trade union, the GMB, literally changed his life and he completed his trade union courses through Nottingham college.”
He epitomises what can be achieved through his trade union and union learning has given him his full potential in life.”