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2008 National Black Members' Conference
21 December 2007

Conference notes the alarming figures outlined in a research highlighting poverty amongst black groups. In April 2007 the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) published a report confirming that the poverty rate for Britain’s minority ethnic groups stands at 40%, double the 20% found amongst white British people. Minority ethnic groups are also being overlooked for jobs and are being paid lower wages, despite improvements in education and qualifications. In 2004 white men were paid an average of £1.80 per hour more than ethnic minority men. Also where minority ethnic groups obtain higher educational achievements they do not receive the same rewards compared to white British people with similar qualifications.

Conference further notes that the JRF identifies differences between minority ethnic groups with 65% of Bangladeshis living in poverty compared to 55% of Pakistanis, 45% of Black Africans and 30% of Indians and Black Caribbean’s. Over half of Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black African children in the UK are growing up in poverty with a staggering 70% of Bangladeshi children growing up poor.

In addition the Commission for Racial Equality has produced its own statistics which supports the JRF research.

Conference recognises the need to bridge the poverty gap prevalent within the black community, particularly in relation to employment. It is clear from the research that there has been very little improvement regarding the treatment of black employees since the introduction of the Race Relations Amendment Act which charges Public Authorities with the responsibility to promote equality of opportunity, promote good race relations between people from different backgrounds and eliminate unlawful discrimination.

Therefore Conference instructs the NBMC to liaise with the NEC and other appropriate bodies to:-

1.Encourage Public Authorities to comply with the Race Relations Amendment Act.

2.Advise all Regions and Branches to persuade Public Authorities to conduct Equality Impact Needs Assessment on any potential changes to Terms and Conditions.

3.Liaise with the CRE to consider what action can be taken against Public Authorities who persistently fail to comply with the Race Relations Amendment Act and whether this can be achieved through collaboration.

4.Campaign to improve the working conditions for all black employees and provide a progress report to 2009 conference.