- 2017 National Black Members' Conference
- 16 September 2016
- Carried as Amended
The NHS employs 1.4 million people, many of these staff are Black, they work as brain surgeons, researchers, nurses, CQC inspectors, care workers to name a few. The NHS that relies on Black staff to function also discriminates against Black people in terms of opportunity, recruitment, promotion, bullying, victimisation (particularly if they whistle blow) and the disciplinary process.
Roger Kline published the Snowy White Peaks report in 2014, the report recognised that although NHS organisations collected data on discrimination; however, in the last 20 years little has changed for Black people in the NHS. In June 2016 the first Workforce Race Equality Standards (WRES) report was published. The WRES was introduced in 2015 to better understand why it is that Black staff often receive much poorer treatment than White staff.
The WRES requires NHS Trusts to collect a range of data on Black workers’ experiences in the workplace. However, the collection of data alone will never deliver race equality – it is only a way of assessing levels of inequality. NHS employers need to analyse the data and change their policies and practices to create change.
The report received widespread media attention, the numbers did not make for pleasant reading, 75% of all acute trusts showed that a higher percentage of Black staff were being harassed, bullied or abused by staff in comparison to white staff in the last 12 months. In 86% of acute trusts, a higher percentage of Black staff do not believe that their organisation offers equal opportunities for career progression or promotion in comparison with white staff; 81% of acute trusts report a higher proportion of Black staff having personally experienced discrimination from a manager, team leader or colleague than white staff.
For the majority of Black staff who work in the NHS, these figures do not offer any surprise because many have already experienced discrimination, been denied promotion, been more qualified and experienced than the person offered the job. However, we cannot continue like this, we cannot continue to report unfairness in the NHS with no change being offered. We must work together to address these issues affecting Black members as the largest public services union.
We call upon the National Black Members’ Committee (NBMC) to:
1)Highlight the issue of the discrimination faced by Black people in the NHS in Black Action
2)Have a workshop on the workings of the WRES at the 2018 National Black Members’ Conference
3)Explore ways to work with the Health Service Group to raise the issue of Black discrimination in the NHS at a National level
4)Seek joint work with the Health Service Group Executive to produce guidance for branches on how to use WRES in their negotiations with employers to achieve tangible improvements in race equality
5)Seek joint work with the Health Service Group Executive to produce guidance for branches on how to use WRES in their negotiations with employers to achieve tangible improvements in race equality.
Submitted by: National Black Members’ Committee
NBMC Policy: Support