Institutional Racism

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2002 National Black Members' Conference
6 June 2002
Carried as Amended

It has been almost ten years since the death of Stephen Lawrence. In that time we have heard Dave Prentis say:

“UNISON believes that tackling the problem of institutional racism within public services is essential not only for black workers but also to improve public services”.

This is why it is important to establish what has been achieved in 2002.

Many self-organised groups in branches face daily obstructions and unforeseen barriers appear from nowhere. Many branches do not have self-organised groups and, therefore, do not encourage those members to set them up.

There is only a handful of branches that currently have institutional racism on their agenda and even fewer branches making any impact on employer recommendation with UNISON to eradicate such demeaning atittude towards black workers.

Conference is asked to support the following:

1)National Black Members’ Committee seeks consultation with National Executive Council to start immediate work ensuring branches understand the importance to achieve equality without further delay;

2)Request the National Black Members’ Committee is assured by the National Executive Council that UNISON issue revised guidelines to branches and regions on how to negotiate and make representations on this issue;

3)Work with branches, regions and employers to ensure that all policies and procedures are reviewed in order that they do not discriminate against black members including equal opportunities, harassment, family friendly policies;

4)Ensure that investigations take place throughout branches where there have been recommendations put in place from the Stephen Lawrence Report and following the MacPherson Recommendations in line with the introduction of the new Race Equality Scheme;

5)Ensure regions investigate branches that, as yet, have not tabled Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 proposals to employers;

6)That National Black Members’ Committee call upon National Executive Council to negotiate facility agreements within branches for self organised groups;

7)That UNISON nationally set up a national training programme for branch officers and activists, including black members so those branches can mount a campaign around institutional racism. This programme should include a national one-day launch in London. The National Black Members’ Committee should invite Dave Prentis and the TUC General Secretary for the launch. This training programme should include our members in the private sector.