Bullying of Black workers in the workplace

Back to all Motions

2017 Local Government Service Group Conference
22 February 2017
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that many local authority employers have anti-bullying and harassment policies in place. However, there are too many times when Black workers in the local government employers have reported experiences of bullying in the workplace.

This conference also notes historical evidence from the TUC has shown that Black workers are reluctant to use the employer’s policies that are put in place to protect them and fear the ramifications as a result of reporting instances of bullying and discrimination.

In a UNISON survey of local authorities in 2009, the evidence revealed that Black women employees are twice as likely to be bullied as their white colleagues. For example, 52% of Black Caribbean, 56% of Black Africans, and 51% of UK-born Black employees reported being bullied compared to 33% of white employees. This increased to 67% when those in the category ‘Black other’ was included. Workers within other ethnic groups have also experienced high levels of bullying.

Additionally, UNISON’s recent equality survey 2016 found that over 40% of those who did not report instances of discrimination cited fear of being picked on or being victimised as the reason, and well over a third thought the issue would not be taken seriously. Black members were cited as the second highest, with race standing at 27%, who had either experience or witnessed discrimination.

This conference calls upon the local government service group executive committee to work with the national Black members’ committee (NBMC) to:

1)Work with regional Black members committees in producing guidance on how to reduce the bullying of Black workers in the workplace. The guidance needs to address how to deal with bullying early before it has escalated and become intolerable and stressful;

2)Liaise with other sections of the union to raise awareness that Black members should not fear the policies that are put in place to protect them and feel confident that the union will support them if they are suffering from any form of bullying.