Black members losing out

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2018 National Black Members' Conference
12 September 2017

This Conference notes that UNISON’s equality survey 2017 saw 461 Black members who responded, which equals 4 percent of the total who participated.

This Conference also notes that of those Black members, 50 percent said that their standard of living was worse than a year ago, compared with the overall survey which showed 43 percent of members said this. A 7 percent difference is a significant difference, outside the 3 percent margin for statistical error. This is a further erosion of the standard of living for Black members compared with the 2016 equality survey results, which showed 6 percent more Black members being worse off compared with that year’s overall survey results.

This Conference further notes that this year’s survey revealed for Black members (main survey figures in brackets) that in order to help balance their household budgets:

1)23 percent (9 percent) had gone without a regular daily meal

2)30 percent (17 percent) had gone without keeping their home warm

3)66 percent (50 percent) had gone without an annual holiday

4)53 percent (39 percent) were spending more on health care than a year ago

5)39 percent (26 percent) were more in debt than a year ago

This Conference believes these shocking figures show that Black members are disproportionately disadvantaged, and that this information should at least be used to support the union’s campaigns to win a better pay deal for members.

This Conference calls on the National Black Members Committee to:

a)promote this information widely;

b)seek out case studies on this issue to help support the union’s campaigning on pay;

c)call on service groups to use this information in bargaining;

d)examine what other statistical information is available that reveals the disproportionate impact the austerity agenda and pay freezes/cuts have had on Black workers and bring a report and with draft campaigning proposals to Black members conference 2019 on this issue.