Promoting Race Equality

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2005 Local Government Service Group Conference
25 February 2005

Conference notes that current United Kingdom legislation places a duty upon public bodies to promote race equality. It further notes that public bodies in Northern Ireland and the Greater London Authority have a similar duty in other respects too. It regrets that this wider duty has not, so far, been extended to other public bodies and there is still no duty outside the public sector.

Nevertheless, conference considers that effective implementation of existing legislation would be a significant step towards achieving UNISON’s wider equality aims and that it cannot be implemented without confronting the rise of the British National Party and other racist, fascist and populist organisations.

Also, conference recognises that such a statutory duty upon public bodies is bound to create a contractual duty for all members of staff in the public sector.

Conference therefore welcomes the decision of the Association of Chief Police Officers of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (ACPO) to amend its regulations so that no member of the Police Service may be a member of an organisation whose constitution, aims, objectives or pronouncements contradict the service’s duty to promote race equality. This is intended to include both police officers and police staff and is intended to apply specifically to membership of the British National Party among others.

Conference considers that, similarly, no other public body, many of whose staff are UNISON members organised within this service group, should employ members of the British National Party or other racist or fascist organisations.

Conference therefore urges all those throughout the service group who oversee UNISON’s input into collective bargaining to seek to negotiate a provision in collective agreements similar to the ACPO regulation.

Conference instructs the Service Group Executive:

1)To issue guidance to negotiators;

2)To mount a campaign to win the support of members; and,

3)To keep the matter under review