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2010 National Black Members' Conference
7 August 2009

Black members’ conference welcomes the Government’s proposed commitment to introduce new harmonised and comprehensive equality legislation in the Equality Bill. UNISON Black members have experienced the full effects of the recession and recognise that only strong anti-discrimination legislation, and a proactive public sector duty, will protect both Black communities and the workforce.

In particular Conference notes the proposed:

·The idea of a single equality duty across all strands;

·The commitment to ensure that equality issues are considered at all stages of the procurement process;

·The requirement on public bodies to consider socio economic factors (the class duty);

·The requirement on public bodies to report on their Black employment rate.

We note that the Conservative opposition voted against the introduction of the Equality Bill.

Black members’ conference supports UNISON’s call for comprehensive measures to tackle the race pay gap, the need to maintain the explicit positive elements of the existing public sector race duty including training for all staff, the monitoring of employment policies, the specific duties on schools and higher education. Conference also believes it is essential that the legislation on the public sector duty maintains the specific requirements on public bodies to produce equality schemes and to carry out equality impact assessments.

Conference calls on Black members to lobby their MPs to ensure effective equality legislation and for the National Black Members’ Committee to continue to promote this campaign, working with the National Executive Council and UNISON Labour Link.