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2015 National Black Members' Conference
16 September 2014
Carried as Amended

UNISON’s long-standing campaigns on equality, human rights and anti-racism make us an attractive and welcoming union for Black members and for migrant workers. As a result we have a large and growing Black and migrant workers membership and strong self organised groups for Black members.

However, racism remains ever present in society. In Northern Ireland, the last 12 months have been marked by a flurry of racist attacks and incendiary racist comments from our political leaders. Headlines, placards and bonfires proclaiming “Local homes for local people”; “I wouldn’t trust a Muslim”; or “we are not racist we just don’t like n***” on 11th July bonfires have become more prominent and Black people continue to suffer daily insults and frightening attacks in the shadows.

Given our proud history, UNISON are ideally place to play our part in challenging racism both in society, in our workplaces and within our own movement. We must ensure that UNISON itself remains a Racism free zone. Our Black Members must know that they can rely on all their stewards and branch officers to challenge racist comments and racist banter in the workplace.

The union has an anti-discrimination policy. It means the union seeks to ensure that discriminatory acts are not committed against any person by the union or by its organs, members, or officers on grounds such as race, gender, sexuality, gender identity, disability, age, creed or social class. Achieving equality is central to our unions aims and objectives.

Conference calls on the National Black Members Committee:

1)to enforce a zero tolerance approach to racism within our own structures;

2)to ensure that this ‘zero tolerance’ message is made clear to all existing activists and becomes part of the induction of all new stewards;

3)to work with branches to ensure they all have fully trained equality officers and/or anti racism champions in their branches.