​Proper action needed for Black workers in health and care

Lofty words mean little without decisive action to back them up

Commenting on the publication today (Thursday) of a new report on racial inequality in health and social care by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, UNISON general secretary Christina McAnea said:

“Black workers make a vital contribution to the health and care sector but are all too often at the bottom of the pay scale as care workers, porters, healthcare assistants and catering staff. They frequently face shocking discrimination, threatening their health, job security and life chances.

“Reversing decades of underfunding, privatisation and hostile immigration policies that allow discrimination to thrive are the way to make a lasting difference.

“Ministers can begin to put things right by embedding the real living wage, guaranteeing ​proper wage rises and ensuring ​decent sick pay.

“Investment in training and development to improve the chances for neglected staff will also help turn things around.

“But lofty words about reforming health and social care won’t mean a thing unless the workforce are treated properly, ​respected and given the opportunities they deserve to access higher paid roles.”

Notes to editors:
– UNISON submitted wide-ranging evidence to this inquiry including detailed testimony from workers represented by the union.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union with more than 1.3 million members providing public services in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.