Budget cuts and the effect on equalities training

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2016 Police & Justice Service Group Conference
16 June 2016

Conference notes that in-service equality training for police and justice staff has many important functions. It helps make the workplace a safe place for all, gives staff the chance to have more equal access to career development and opportunities; and improves service delivery. For example, it can help staff to see beyond societal stereotypes and norms, combating prejudiced attitudes towards colleagues and assisting them in meeting the needs of the diversity of children and adults they work with.

Conference further notes the increasingly challenging environment in which our members work to protect and support communities, with xenophobia and anti-immigrant rhetoric an increasingly common currency in politics.

Conference is concerned about the impact of multi-million pound budget reductions across our service group on staffing levels and on training for the remaining staff. Such training as remains is increasingly cheaper online modules, offering little or no opportunity for learning by discussion. This comes at a time when public spending cuts are biting hard in all areas, and much specialist community support is disappearing.

Conference welcomes the research commissioned by UNISON and being carried out of this summer by NatCen Social Research into the effect of public spending on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and services. This research is not just for LGBT people and not just for UNISON members. It aims to collect information from all who observe what is happening. The findings will inform UNISON’s campaigns.

Conference calls on the police and justice service group executive, in liaison with the national LGBT committee, to:

1)Seek information from across the sectors of the police and justice service group on the effect of budget cuts on equality training;

2)Promote the NatCen research into public spending cuts and LGBT people and services, encouraging police and justice members to make submissions to the online survey

3)Once the findings of the NatCen research are published, publicise them across the service group and consider the implications for the police and justice.