VIEWS: 9 PAGES: 16 POSTED ON: 10/16/2011
Black October 2008 NEWSLETTER FOR UNISON BLACK MEMBERS l Muslims under siege l UNISON equality scheme l Challenging Racism in the Workplace Black Action October 2008 News in brief Motions to Black Sofi Taylor, Black NEC member, members’ conference said: ‘Migrant workers are vital to Recruit, recruit, recruit many of Scotland’s industries from National Black members’ conference Black workers still face amongst food production to care homes. 2009 will be held in Bristol from the highest levels of harassment Too often they face exploitation 16–18 January. The preliminary and discrimination in workplaces and discrimination.’ Dave Watson, agenda is published 10 October so we cannot afford to put off Scotland organiser, added: ‘The and amendments to motions must union membership. The most public sector can use its powers as be in by noon on 14 November. common reason people give employers and procurers of services The deadline for the submission of for not joining a union is that to promote best practice.’ delegates is 7 November and the no one asked them to. Ensure final agenda is published on For more information see: this is not true of your family 12 December. www.unison.org.uk/migrantworkers and friends. You can print UNISON membership application Talk to your branch for further Women’s National forms from the website at: information or email: Commission www.unison.org.uk/join or call firstname.lastname@example.org Sofi Taylor, Black NEC member, UNISONdirect: 0845 355 0845 has been appointed to the Women’s or pick up copies from your local Positive action in the rep today. National Commission on migration European Union and asylum to monitor government So let’s remind everyone of the Bradford University’s Centre for policy and legislation. Sofi, who benefit of UNISON membership: Inclusion is researching positive will join women from academia, action measures in the European community groups like Kalayaan, l unrivalled protection and Union to understand the role the British Red Cross and representation at work positive action can play to prevent JCWI, said: ‘This is an excellent l help with pay and conditions discrimination. The findings will opportunity to promote UNISON of service, as well as health and contribute to a report of the views in this debate.’ Sofi can be safety guidance and support European Commission. If you would contacted at: email@example.com l confidential welfare services like to contribute please email for you and your dependents in Jite Eferakorho at: Single Equality Bill difficult times firstname.lastname@example.org UNISON has broadly welcomed l excellent legal services the government’s announcement UNISON launches of an equality Bill for England, including free help with work migrant workers charter Scotland and Wales. The proposals problems, pensions and legal support for members and their UNISON is leading on protecting in Framework for a Fairer Future, families migrant workers with a national include extending the duty on public project run by the migrant workers bodies to promote equality, ban l a special hotline, unit. In June, Scottish activists took age discrimination in the provision UNISONdirect, for help and members to the Scottish Parliament of goods and services, increase advice on workplace issues to meet MSPs and launch a Scottish transparency in gender pay, new l education and training charter of good practice guidance rights to take positive action and advice and courses, leading for employers. The meeting – wider powers for tribunals. For a to vocational and professional organised by UNISON Scotland, the UNISON activists’ briefing on the qualifications STUC and Migrant Rights Network – proposals visit: www.unison.org.uk/ l cash benefits for accidents included workers from 14 countries. activists/pages_view.asp?did=7234 and injuries at work l special deals on everything from computers, tax returns, holidays, mortgages, car breakdown services, insurance and credit cards l our own holiday centre for members and families at the Devon seaside. 2 Make UNISON’s equality scheme work for you UNISON’s first equality scheme was launched for consultation at national delegate conference in June. The three-year scheme includes equality actions on sexuality, gender identity, gender, disability, race, religion and belief, age and low pay. The consultation period runs until 31 October 2008, and regional and branch groups as well as individuals are urged to feed in comments to: email@example.com The starting point has been regions and head office functions, with actions for branches developed over the life of this first three-year scheme to promote equality and set targets for their achievement in order to work more effectively, with equality firmly embedded from the start. A key part of this will be the development of the new role of Caribbean people. Do we need said: ‘We’re losing opportunities branch equality reps – see below. to address the diversity of Black to challenge outsourcing because members – how do our organising we’re not asking public sector What’s in it for you? and campaigning priorities impact employers to meet the duty to on them as women, disabled, LGBT, prevent discrimination when making There are two sides to it. The first low-paid or young members? this sort of change’. is as a tool to get equality issues up the agenda in your branch, region and service group. So This is not new – Black members have always understood this, but Equality reps help often, union activists can seem to the challenge is now to address this After training, equality reps will work be firefighting – dealing with crisis in a more systematic way. We will with their branch equality officer after crisis, with employers and rise to the challenge. to identify opportunities to engage national initiatives throwing more employers to improve equalities and fuel on the fire every week. In these Negotiating for prevent discrimination. They can circumstances equality is sometimes feed this information to the branch seen as a luxury – to be addressed equality negotiating team and contact the when other issues are sorted out. UNISON has set up a project to see employer to discuss positive ways By agreeing the equality scheme how a new role of equality rep can of working together on equality UNISON has confirmed equality is at help branches negotiate for equality. issues. Equality reps can play a the heart of everything we do. Pay, Many branches feel they are not crucial role in keeping equalities restructuring, efficiency savings, using current equalities law in their central: supporting implementation redundancies, contracting out – all negotiations as much as they could. of UNISON’s equality scheme, have an equalities angle that needs The public sector equality duties, recognising issues in the workplace, to be considered from the start if Agenda for Change, Knowledge raising issues in the branch, and the best deals are to be negotiated and Skills Framework, single status working with the employer to for all members. have opened up opportunities to provide a fair and equal workplace. incorporate equality issues into The other side is to look at our Three regions are participating in standard negotiations but many own agenda. In our work for race a pilot and some of their branches branches are missing out by not equality, how are we identifying and will lead on using equality reps to making use of these. meeting the needs of all the group’s work on equality. Contact project members? We need to look at the Liane Venner, head of UNISON’s manager Diana Veitch for more distinct needs of African, Asian and Membership Participation Unit, information: firstname.lastname@example.org 3 Black Action October 2008 One society, many cultures UNISON Black members’ heritage and faiths while respecting conference motion on the rights of others to do the same. multiculturalism was supported This British approach stands in unanimously by union members contrast to that of other European and the NEC at the recent countries that insist that people national delegates’ conference in assimilate into one culture. The Bournemouth. consequence of this has been tensions in other parts of Europe. Moving the motion, NBMC chair, Multiculturalism is in keeping with Bev Miller said: ‘Britain is a nation Britain’s liberal tradition because born out of centuries of inward assimilation, which imposes a single migration, from the Romans, cultural identity, seeks to constrain Saxons, Vikings and Normans individual choice. to Dutch Protestants, French Huguenots, the Irish fleeing famine, the Jews fleeing Nazi persecution, Celebration as in our society. Multiculturalism refugees from war, as well as activism is scapegoated as a barrier to invitations to migrants from the integration, responsible for Muslim Celebrating and respecting the Commonwealth, Africa, Australasia radicalisation. It is even held contribution of different cultures and Eastern Europe more recently. responsible for the attacks in to British society dismantles many All these people have brought with London on 7 July 2005. Such myths of the racist myths that exist. For them their cultural traditions and have encouraged far right groups example, Notting Hill, the largest heritage, successively building up who are increasing their votes carnival outside the Caribbean and the rich diversity that exists in Britain off the back of racist hostilities. Latin America, was a response to a today.’ Claims that we live in increasingly wave of racist attacks and violence segregated ‘ghettos’ are also UNISON is working with NAAR, the in London in 1958. Meanwhile, in gaining favour. However, research National Assembly Against Racism, the 1970s, support for neo-Nazi from population statisticians to develop the One Society Many groups was countered through demonstrates that the opposite is Cultures campaign to promote carnivals of music and culture, true. Segregation is decreasing. and celebrate multiculturalism and bringing together Black communities Data from the last census reveals debunk the myths that exist. This in a coalition with the organised a pattern of increased dispersal campaign is funded by UNISON’s labour movement and musicians. and greater integration. Britain is General Political Fund. In recent years though there has now a more racially diverse and At its core, multiculturalism is the been a sustained attempt to integrated society than at any right of groups and individuals to undermine multicultural Britain, time in its history. This diversity pursue their own cultural choices, blaming it for many problems has significantly contributed to the ‘Segregation is not increasing, it is decreasing – government and academic studies all show that each group is increasingly spread throughout Britain.’ Photo: Philip Wolmuth Dr Ludi Simpson, researcher in population trends 4 country’s economic and social development and continues to do so today. Safer and more united Despite campaigns in the tabloid press and hostile reports claiming multiculturalism threatens our security, the opposite is in fact the case. Following the 2005 bombings, the loyalty of the entire Muslim Photo: Philip Wolmuth community has been questioned even though a MORI poll conducted in 2007 showed that Muslims overwhelmingly support western democracy. Multiculturalism unites society because every culture is respected equally and given a stake. ‘This House believes that multiculturalism is the bedrock for Anti-discrimination laws need to be a diverse and inclusive society; strengthened; and strong messages further believes that achieving for equality and against racism must social cohesion depends on society be promoted by local and national respecting the cultural heritage government. of others and recognising the The UNISON campaign has principle of being free to follow produced a range of materials one’s own culture and beliefs while and articles that can be used. For respecting those of others; therefore more campaign ideas and in-depth commends the National Assembly briefings visit: www.naar.org.uk/ Against Racism’s new campaign campaigns/multiculturalism.asp One Society, Many Cultures to inform people about the meaning What you can do of multiculturalism; and calls on l invite a NAAR speaker to discuss the Government to make a robust the case for multiculturalism case for promoting equality and the benefits of multicultural diversity in l order T-shirts, stickers and other Britain.’ campaign materials from NAAR for a stall in your workplace l Pass branch policy in support of multiculturalism ‘I left the Philippines to work in Dubai but was very l Ask your MP to sign UNISON’s unhappy there as migrant workers are treated badly. In Early Day Motion 1816. 2001, I arrived in Liverpool to work as a charge nurse before moving to London. In Britain I definitely feel I Early Day Motion have the chance of equality and job security. It has also 1816 – Promoting exposed me to many different religions and cultures multiculturalism and I have learnt to understand people from different Some 50 MPs have already signed backgrounds. This knowledge helps make the patients I up to EDM 1816 which was put down by UNISON sponsored MP care for more comfortable. I am proud to be Filipino and Keith Vaz. Visit: edmi.parliament. enjoy sharing my culture with other people too.’ uk to see if your MP has signed up. Manny Del Moro, If s/he hasn’t, ask them to do so staff nurse, North Middlesex University Hospital straightway. 5 Black Action October 2008 Muslims under siege A new report on Islamophobia were analysed and it was found by the journalists Peter Oborne that almost two-thirds of all stories and James Jones investigates involved terrorism; 22% were about the scale and depth of prejudice religious issues such as Sharia against Muslims in Britain. The law, and approximately eight per report to accompany Channel 4’s cent about extremism relating to Dispatches programme It Shouldn’t figures like Abu Hamza. Almost all Happen to a Muslim charts the the reports portrayed Muslims as a deep resentment and fear of British source of trouble. Only 5% of stories Muslims after the 11 September examined were based on problems and 7 July terrorist attacks. The facing British Muslims. authors conclude that this fear has Oborne and Jones’ report provides manifested in increased racial abuse examples of false stories concerning and violent attacks on innocent British Muslims. Some of these had people. inaccurate, distorted and misleading The prejudice against Muslims has headlines that were likely to fan been expressed in many different resentment towards Muslims. forms but the most prevalent has been the attack from the media The journalists also argued that where the Muslim community unrelentingly negative media has faced particularly hostile coverage of Muslims was fertile coverage. For example, there have breeding ground for extremist been numerous instances where far-right politics, which had made newspapers have exaggerated and Muslims a target for the British distorted stories about Muslims, National Party, especially after the forcing the community to endure 11 September and 7 July attacks. insulting generalisations about According to the report, the them to a degree that would not BNP’s strategy had moved on they were British first and Muslim be tolerated by other groups. from denying the Holocaust and second. This received considerable This has placed British Muslims focusing instead on terrorism, and publicity compared to other similar in a vulnerable situation that, by implication the ‘evils of Islam’ and polls that have been carried out that paradoxically, wider society appears peddling stories of Britain becoming contradict this image of Muslims. unperturbed by. an Islamic nation. The BNP leader, One example was of a Sky News The report cites statistics that show Nick Griffin was even quoted as poll that found 46% of Muslims Muslims have the highest rates describing Islam as a ‘wicked, felt they were British first and of unemployment, disability, ill- vicious faith’. Muslim second, while only 12% felt health and the poorest educational they were Muslim first and British The Dispatches programme qualification of any religious group second. This more favourable polling documented that racist abuse and in Britain, which has consequently received very little coverage. violence on Muslims had increased exposed them to ignorant and drastically and that this has been According to Oborne and Jones’ hostile comments and ridicule from the case every time misleading report, Muslims are misrepresented the media and public. stories were reported by the media and persecuted in Britain within In an attempt to establish whether because it created an atmosphere in the media, politics and society. the anti-Muslim commentary which racists feel they had licence to They are not treated with decency promoted by the media has any attack Muslims – and by association and fairness and British public’s basis, the Dispatches programmer other sections of the Black culture needs to change quickly commissioned Cardiff’s School of community because they might look if this resentment is not to lead to Journalism to examine how the Muslim. greater hostility and a breakdown in media reports on Muslim issues. community cohesion. A poll by the Pew Foundation found Coverage of Islam over eight that 81% of Muslims in Britain The full report can be found at: years was studied by a team of felt that they were Muslims first www.channel4.com/news/media/ academics. Almost 1,000 stories and British second, while 7% felt pdfs/Muslims_under_siege_LR.pdf 6 Baby milk action A baby dies every 30 seconds Millions more babies become breastfeeding and threaten infant from unsafe bottle-feeding whereas seriously ill and the cost of baby health. breastfeeding gives the best start milks impoverishes people who are Pam Singh, NBMC vice-chair and in life because it is free, safe and already poor, affecting whole families. a healthcare professional said: protects against infection. ‘Good breastfeeding practices are It is rare for a woman to be How does bottle- recognised to reducing under-fives physically unable to breastfeed. mortality and can save more lives Even in Britain a bottle-fed baby feeding kill babies? than other preventive measures is up to 10 times more likely to be The water mixed with baby milk such as immunisation, safe water hospitalised with gastro-intestinal powder can be unsafe and it is and sanitation. The WHO estimates illness than a breastfed one. Where often impossible in poor conditions that 1.5 million infants die around water is unsafe, babies are up to 25 to keep bottles and teats sterile. the world each year because they times more likely to die if they are Bottle-feeding under such are not breastfed.’ bottle-fed. circumstances can lead to infections UNISON works with Baby Milk causing diarrhoea, the biggest killer Breastfed babies need no other Action to ensure parents base of children worldwide. food or drink for about the first decisions on objective, independent six months of life. They also Baby milk is expensive, often information rather than advertising have reduced risk of diabetes, costing more than half the entire claims. For more information see: pneumonia, ear infections and some family income. This means that www.babymilkaction.org cancers. Studies show that women bottle-feeding will contribute to who breastfeed may have a lower family malnutrition. Furthermore, risk of breast and ovarian cancers poor mothers trying to make the and that their babies are less likely milk go further sometimes over- to die of cot death or suffer from dilute the powder or use cheaper allergies or obesity in later life. alternatives, such as powdered A mother has a right to independent whole milk or animal milks, and information and freedom from the baby may not then receive the pressure from companies that nutrition they need, exposing the produce breast-milk alternatives. If babies to diarrhoea, dehydration she chooses to bottle-feed she should and malnutrition. be aware of the risks and costs. Baby Milk Action is a not-for-profit campaigning organisation that Bottle-feeding can kill works with the International Baby Companies that make baby foods Food Action Network to improve the or bottles and teats are well aware health and wellbeing of babies and that infants die from unsafe bottle- their families through promotion feeding. Despite this they continue and support of breastfeeding to put profits before health by practices, while challenging encouraging mothers and health the aggressive workers to use their milks and marketing of breast equipment while others are left to milk substitutes count the cost. that undermine ‘Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breastfed.’ United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 7 Black Action October 2008 Challenging racism in the workplace The law gives you the tools… UNISON gives you the skills DIGNITY Racism in the workplace destroys careers and people’s lives. Research conducted by the government everyone has found that even when factors JUSTICE such as education and class are accounted for, there is no other explanation for racial inequality at is entitled to work apart from discrimination. RESPECT This is not news for many Black members, because discrimination agreements to deliver race equality is affecting the employment rates, in the workplace. This training fair progression and retention of Black course shows employers that DIVERSITY workers in the workplace, blighting UNISON means business. lives and aspirations. Experience from the Challenging UNISON believes that its members treatment should not only be challenging Racism in the Workplace pilots currently running in branches in the FAIRNESS at overt forms of racism such as harassment, but also taking action to challenge structures and West Midlands, North West and Greater London regions show that UNISON activists are well placed to processes within the workplace that challenge racism in the workplace EQUALITY work covertly disadvantage fellow Black workers. The race equality duty introduced through collective bargaining negotiations. However, this can often be a STRENGTH by the Race Relations (Amendment) challenging and complex process. Act 2000 requires public After all, dealing with discrimination sector employers to deal with is not just about supporting a discrimination and promote equality worker who wishes to pursue of opportunity in recruitment, their grievance through formal selection and career progression. procedures, with the possibility of Most public authorities are required an employment tribunal. While this to develop and implement a race may be the only way of resolving equality scheme that establishes a an individual’s grievance, it takes systematic framework for defining the problem out of the work and delivering race equality. But environment where it originated. The many race equality schemes are root cause may lie in the actions just a tick-box exercise, a process of a manager or other workers, with little drive and no focus on the culture of the workplace, a outcomes. particular policy or the failure to Anti-discrimination employment enforce an anti-racist strategy. All legislation alone is not delivering these issues could lead to racist the changes at the pace Black behaviour not being adequately members need. That’s why challenged, increasing the risk UNISON’s Challenging Racism that Black workers will experience in the Workplace training course discrimination time and again. is harnessing the full force of the Of course, race equality is not law to improve the quality of Black just an issue for Black workers. people’s working lives. It is designed Branches must ensure there is to empower branch negotiators discussion amongst all members to use collective bargaining so that they understand what 8 Case study: Scotland ‘Equality matters in UNISON’ was to enable branch representatives the message from the challenging to negotiate with employers about racism in the workplace training challenging racial discrimination. delivered to Scottish Black members in Edinburgh. First steps gives branches a starting point to determine the The national race equality officer, extent to which an employer Pav Akhtar, spelled out UNISON’s is committed to equality of belief that all members should opportunity, it identifies whether be challenging racism and taking there is a systematic approach to action to tackle structures and the legislation says and why it is equality based on good employment processes in workplaces that needed. The effects of the Race practice and includes key questions disadvantage Black workers. Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 to ask during negotiations with will impact on all members, placing Tamar Mhura who was one of management. a responsibility on them to improve the 17 members that attended the way services are delivered to all Issues for collective bargaining the training said: ‘Discrimination service users and changing ways of gives details of the sort of issues affects employment prospects working. affecting Black workers in the and progression of many workplace, plus a checklist to begin Black workers. Dealing with Branches need to consider how the information-gathering process to discrimination through collective they will engage Black workers – inform negotiations. bargaining means tackling the who, according to the law, must be root cause of the problem, such consulted – and use the opportunity Next steps gives advice on as a manager, other workers, or to recruit and involve Black workers in developing practical action for the culture of the workplace.’ something that can make a difference collective bargaining for Black to the quality of their daily lives. workers. ‘I’m looking forward to the rest of the Challenging Racism in the Enforcement outlines what steps a Pav Akhtar, UNISON’s national Workplace course because it will branch can take if the employer fails race equality officer, said: ‘The give me the skills and confidence to comply with its legal duties under Challenging Racism in the to identify problems and then deal the race relations legislation. Workplace course aims to help with them effectively to ensure all branches become active in Further information signposts workers are treated fairly.’ identifying and challenging those additional guidance and lists Ismail Donmez, secretary to issues that affect Black workers organisations that can provide the Scottish Black members’ collectively, rather than focusing only further advice. committee added: ‘It was on individual concerns, so that all Black members’ self-organised delightful to see so many shop workers are treated fairly.’ groups have always been at the stewards and equality officers Challenging Racism in the forefront of campaigning for better from different branches attend Workplace has a range of learning rights for workers and where the training. I am confident it resources and guidance, including branches have Black members’ self- will enable trainees to serve our a practical toolkit with model letters, organised groups they should be members well.’ posters, leaflets, a powerpoint involved in the process of looking presentation, dedicated web site, at race equality schemes and their regional and national officer support implications. This helps the branch and a two-day training course campaign and organise around covering six distinct sections: equality. What the law says gives a If you want to find out more about summary of the Race Relations Act UNISON’s Challenging Racism in 1976, as amended by the Race the Workplace course contact the Relations (Amendment) Act 2000, project manager Pav Akhtar: which provides the legal framework P.Akhtar@unison.co.uk 9 Black Action October 2008 Black History Month: filling in the blanks Promote multiculturalism, boost knowledge of the contribution of Black Britons to UK society, and recruit new members with our practical guide to celebrating Black History Month. Black History Month every October enables branches to raise awareness of the rich cultural diversity and heritage of our communities, as well as reflecting on and celebrating the huge achievements of Black people and their lives in the UK over the centuries. Some people may ask why we need Black History Month at all, but the reality is that Black history is often ignored in mainstream British history. More accurately, it was never written in. For most people, history taught in school was a strictly all-white affair. That’s about to change for the next generation of UK children, with learning about Black history now compulsory in schools for the first time. The new academic year started last month with confirmation from the government that the secondary school curriculum will now cover the UK’s involvement in the slave trade, as well as its links to colonisation, industrialisation and the British Empire. This is a massive victory for UNISON, which has long campaigned for Black history to be UNISON’s Black History Month poster celebrates the contributions Black taught in schools – in particular, people have made to British society. the history of the trans-atlantic slave trade and the part played Black History Month events can help There are many things that every by enslaved people in their own UNISON’s campaign to destroy the branch can do – not all of which emancipation. arguments of the BNP and its like. take much time or resources - for Because no matter what our skin instance, organise a workplace Importantly, in this 60th anniversary colour, it is vital to understand the stall with information on how to get year of the arrival of the SS Empire past if we are to stamp out racism involved in UNISON and the Black Windrush at Tilbury Dock, filling and forge a successful multicultural members’ self-organised group. This in these blanks in our history will society based on mutual respect. offers the possibility for increasing help to combat the myth that Black participation and recruitment. people’s history in Britain only Black History Month can only began after World War Two. Such strengthen our union, our As with any campaign, it is inaccuracies are, of course, bread membership, and the work it vital to make full use of branch and butter for the far right. Staging undertakes. communications. For instance, if 10 the branch has a newsletter you l Mount wall displays reflecting the could feature a contribution from a local African, Asian or Caribbean local Black hero – a nurse, teaching community. Showcase initiatives assistant or council worker – to give run with the Black community, the piece more relevance. such as attendance at carnivals or community events Black History Month activities can also be organised to reflect l Run a poetry competition for UNISON’s three key objectives members about celebrating Black of recruiting, organising and history. representation; negotiations and bargaining; and campaigning, Campaigning including international work. l Contact a local Unite Against It is hoped that these ideas Fascism or Searchlight group or link will inspire local and regional with other branches in your area and activities and develop a greater invite Love Music Hate Racism to understanding of the issues through run a music gig or a bhangra, jazz the prism of our shared, multicultural or world music night in a local venue society. Of course, you can also l Engage local football teams to use these ideas to celebrate trade organise a kick racism out of football union activity and Black members’ match. Invite the community and contributions all year-round. local workplace teams too. Order materials from Show Racism the Organising and Red Card recruiting l Set up panel debates about Slavery memorial l Organise open-house events at racism in the workplace, or the under-representation of Black day your branch. Invite Black members to come along and learn about people in society. Contact the The UK’s first annual slavery UNISON’s work, how it benefits Membership Participation Unit about memorial day was marked them and how to get involved; ideas for speakers. on 23 August this year with events across the country. The l Work with employers and branch International work government announced earlier officers to facilitate training events this year that the date would be over the month. Use promotional l Promote global justice and adopted as the focal date for materials to target the needs of organise a fundraising evening, national commemorations. Black members; such as a raffle, with proceeds going to charity. Contact UNISON The date is already marked as l Work with the National Assembly International for ideas the UN’s International Day for the Against Racism to promote Remembrance of the Slave Trade UNISON’s One Society Many l Invite speakers from the Cuba, and its Abolition. Cultures campaign. Use promotional Palestine or Venezuela solidarity materials to build anti-racism; campaigns to illustrate struggles for The government has also said liberty by Black people that groups looking to mark l Invite Thompson’s Solicitors to the 23 August in the coming l Show films from Africa, Asia and run a Q&A session or surgery for years will be able to apply to the the Caribbean Black members. Heritage Lottery Fund for support l Run an international food fair. as well as the Big Lottery Fund Communication Engage workers from different and Arts Council England. backgrounds to promote their l Produce a calendar of Black From this September, the slave national heritage identities. Ask History Month initiatives in your trade became a compulsory workplace caterers to prepare branch and local area. Make this element in schools (under Key themed menus from around the available to members on branch and Stage 3 of the history curriculum) world. workplace noticeboards, website and pupils will learn about the and newsletter. Ensure you promote For more details contact Pav Akhtar, history and impact of slavery your initiatives to staff in the UNISON’s national race equality alongside other important events workplace and community – don’t officer, by email: blackmembers@ in the last century, such as the forget to send a press release to the unison.co.uk or visit: World Wars and the Holocaust. local media; www.unison.org.uk/blackmembers 11 Black Action October 2008 Legal information Racial harassment: Liability of employer for acts of a third party Black people who suffer race treats the employee less favourably though she herself was Caucasian. discrimination at work may not only than it would treat others. The court This created a situation where she do so at the hands of employers pointed out there was nothing in was subject to unwanted conduct and colleagues but also from third the Burton case to suggest that the which had the purpose, or effect, of parties. Nurses, housing officers, employer would have behaved any violating her dignity or creating an care workers etc. may face racial differently if Manning’s offensive intimidating, hostile or degrading, harassment during the course of humour had been targeted at white humiliating or offensive environment. their employment from patients or waitresses. There was no problem about C customers. In these circumstances In 2003, a definition of racial bringing the claim as a Caucasian can the employer be liable for harassment was added to the woman because the definition of discrimination by people who they RRA. A person is subjected to harassment says on ‘grounds of do not employ? harassment under the RRA when race’ and does not say on ‘grounds In the case of Burton v De Vere ‘on the grounds of race or ethnic of the claimant’s race’. The question Hotels Limited (1996) two bar or national origin, s/he is subjected for the EAT was whether the staff at a hotel brought successful to unwanted conduct which has respondent could be liable for such claims of race discrimination the purpose or effect of violating acts when they were committed by against their employer after they his or her dignity, or creating an third parties. The EAT found in C’s were made the butt of racist jokes intimidating, hostile, degrading, favour. It said that the decisions during a performance at the hotel humiliating or offensive environment under the old laws do not still by comedian Bernard Manning. for him or her.’ So, unlike direct necessarily hold good. C did not Manning had nothing to do with discrimination, in a harassment have to show that any comparator the hotel and had been booked complaint, it isn’t necessary to would have been treated differently to perform at the hotel by a local identify a comparator ie there is but merely that an offensive rotary club. The Employment no need to prove that the claimant environment had been created on Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that has been treated less favourably grounds of race. the employer had subjected the in comparison to someone else on In cases where you feel you may employees to a detriment by racial grounds. Rather, harassment have experienced discrimination permitting harassment to occur as a ground for complaint you should contact your branch when it could have been prevented, concentrates only on the alleged act immediately. particularly as the circumstances of harassment being unwelcome were sufficiently under the control to the claimant and its effect being of the hotel. For example it could intimidating, degrading or offensive. have removed the staff from the Gravell v London Borough of bar duties. At the time the Burton Bexley  UKEAT/0587/06 case was decided there was no free standing definition of harassment The Claimant (C), a Caucasian under the Race Relations Act (RRA) woman worked for Bexley as a 1976. Such claims were brought as housing officer. She alleged her direct discrimination claims, ie the employer could be vicariously liable claimant had to prove they had been for racist abuse to which she had treated less favourably on racial been subjected by customers. She grounds than someone of another alleged this was a result of Bexley’s race in the same circumstances. policy, which she was informed of at The Burton case remained good her induction, that staff should not law until Pearce v the Governing challenge racist behaviour by clients Body of Mayfield School (2003), or customers. The comments were when the House of Lords said the not directed at her, but customers decision in Burton was wrong. They and colleagues made racist remarks said that an employer is only guilty to her about African and Asian of direct race discrimination under heritage people. C alleged that she the RRA if, on racial grounds, it found this behaviour offensive even 12 Southall Black Sisters prove discrimination In a key judicial review about how local authorities fund specialist services for Black groups, a two- day trial finished early when Ealing Council agreed to withdraw its decision to withdraw funding from Southall Black Sisters (SBS). SBS, which is a not-for-profit organisation that meets the needs of Asian and African-Caribbean heritage women, particularly those who have meet its obligations under RRA The judge rejected claims by the been victims of domestic violence, legislation and had misinterpreted school that the bangle could be had been funded for many years by how to comply with these duties. seen as a ‘symbol of affluence’ Ealing Council. However, when the saying that many watches that were council reviewed this funding and Ealing Council conceded defeat allowed at the school were more proposed a new grant specification and has withdrawn its decision to expensive than the simple steel to give the same service for all approve the flawed grant criteria Kara. He also refused the school women in the borough for the same on the commissioning of domestic permission to appeal, although it level of funding SBS took the council violence services. It has also can still seek permission from the to court, claiming it had failed to taken guidance on the correct Court of Appeal. assess the adverse impact on Black interpretation of s.71 of the RRA women of this funding shift. in voluntary sector funding and As a result of the judgment, Sarika Although Ealing Council undertook services for Black groups. is allowed to return to her school in a race equality impact assessment September 2008, wearing the Kara, exercise this remained flawed Sarika Singh wins to prepare for her GCSEs. and the council failed to properly bangle battle After the judgement, Sarika said: consider the inevitable adverse ‘I’m overwhelmed by the outcome. impact of using the same level Sarika Singh, the 14-year-old Sikh It’s marvellous to know the long of funding for a service for all girl from Wales has won her High journey I have been on has finally women that was previously Court discrimination claim against ended. I’m happy to know that no providing a specialist service for her school, which excluded her for one else will go through what I have only a proportion of women in the breaking its ‘no jewellery’ rule in an gone through and no other pupil will borough. Their decision was not important ruling to protect religious get banned from wearing their Kara supported by the evidence available beliefs. again. I am just a proud Welsh and about the needs of women in the The teenager was excluded in Punjabi Sikh girl’. borough and the council failed November 2007 from Aberdare to follow its own policy on how NBMC chair Bev Miller, said, ‘It is Girls School for refusing to take they should undertake impact clear that the school had breached off a religious bangle, but the High assessments, an essential part of race relations legislation and Court judge agreed with UNISON’s their duties under the RRA. contravened a 25-year-old Law Black members’ conference that the Lords’ decision that allows Sikh The council tried to rely on the bangle was a vital part of the Sikh children to wear items representing policy context of the draft Cohesion religion, and declared the school their faith, including turbans, to Guidance for Funders as the correct guilty of indirect discrimination under school. It’s a shame that each approach to funding such services, the Race Relations Act. generation has to fight the same even though this specifically states During a two-day hearing Sarika battles.’ some services can be provided on a argued that the Kara bangle – a slim specialist basis. steel bracelet – was important to her The Equality and Human Rights as it is a symbol of her Sikh faith. Commission supported the case, Her lawyers also pointed out that recognising the importance of the the Kara was as important to her as issue for Black groups and their it was to England spin bowler Monty users, and the argument made by Panesar who had also been pictured SBS that the council had failed to wearing the bangle. 13 Black Action October 2008 Destination unknown Imagine being diagnosed HIV-positive: the initial fear and then the gradual acceptance that, with the right combination of drug therapies on the NHS, you can still look forward to a long and satisfying life. Now imagine that you are forcibly removed from the UK and sent to a country where there is no NHS and no drug therapies available – except for the very rich. This is the dread that thousands of Black HIV positive non-UK nationals living in the UK face every day. Policy contradiction The British government has a policy aim of universal access to HIV treatment for all those who need it by 2010. However, in 2005 the House of Lords ruled that deportation of an individual to a country where they are unlikely to receive adequate HIV treatment was not incompatible with their human rights. This gives the Home Office discretion to send literally hundreds of HIV-positive people in Britain back to their home countries. The African HIV Policy Network believes this is a clear contradiction with Britain’s policy aim. The network’ has launched the Destination Unknown campaign to put pressure on the government to delay deportation Posed by models. of HIV-positive people to their home countries until treatment is more widely available and affordable. Public health Ratidzai, deported back to Zimbabwe, cannot access HIV treatment in her home country because she does Act to defend lesbian and gay not belong to the ruling political party. Michael, who has asylum seekers been deported to Zambia, said: ‘Why do they allow us to begin treatment with the advice that one can remain UNISON’s Black and LGBT members joined ranks to on medical grounds only to be forced into a situation stage a protest opposite Downing Street in defence of where we have to stop? It’s like giving someone an Mehdi Kazemi. Mehdi is a gay Iranian asylum seeker oxygen mask and then taking it away again.’ who the government plans to send back to Iran on the grounds that if gay Iranians are ‘discreet about their There are strong public health arguments for allowing sexuality’, they will not get into trouble. In fact, Mehdi a concession. Those awaiting removal may go Kazemi’s boyfriend in Iran has been executed for being underground and fail to keep appointments resulting gay, and the regime knows about Mehdi Kazemi’s in an increased risk of opportunistic infection with the sexuality. need for emergency treatment and an increased risk of onward transmission. An Iranian lesbian, Pegah Emambakhsh, who fled to Britain after her girlfriend was arrested and sentenced to How you can help death, also faces being forcibly returned after losing the latest round in her battle to be granted asylum. The campaign wants to get 1,000 postcards filled in and present these to the Home Office. So far 400 More information can be found at www.uklgig.org.uk people have completed a postcard. You can complete the website for UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group, a postcard, or email the Home Office directly. You formerly the Stonewall Immigration Group, which is a can also join in handing out campaign tools, collecting charity providing information and advice on immigration signatures and raising awareness of the issue at rights for same-sex couples and support for lesbian and events. For more details and to send your email protest gay asylum seekers. You can also sign an e-petition at: postcard visit: www.ahpn.org/campaigns petitions.pm.gov.uk/Stopdeportinggay/ 14 Gang violence tactics fatally flawed The government’s drive to curb street gangs and knife crime has been challenged by research suggesting official tactics are fundamentally misinformed, frequently failing, and sometimes actively strengthen the gangs they target. Based on two years’ close work with members of six gangs in an English city, the research finds that schools, health services and Trident campaign. Carrying a gun can get you into the coolest of places prisons are ‘grossly unprepared to collaborate or respond adequately Robert Ralphs, the project’s lead between them. A gang’s ethnic to the problems brought about fieldworker, said: ‘Police and other make-up tended simply to reflect its by gangs’ and police mistakenly statutory agencies respond to gangs local area – Black, white or mixed – target individuals who, though gang as clearly identifiable groups of even though the media and police members or associates, are not criminally-involved young people, overwhelmingly focus on Black themselves engaged in criminal where membership is undisputed. gangs. action – thus cutting them off as In reality, gangs are loose, messy, potential sources of help, driving According to the researchers’ changing friendship networks – less report: ‘An unintended consequence them into gang membership, and organised and less criminally active confirming the status of gangs. of this policy was the observed than widely believed – with unclear, greater vulnerability of Black young The research comes as ministers shifting and unstable leadership.’ people to aggressive and intrusive respond to demands for increased By failing to understand this policing strategies, resulting in policing and longer sentences. basic structure, the researchers perceptions of discrimination that Home secretary Jacqui Smith has say, police mistakenly target and are counter-productive.’ proposed that teenagers arrested sometimes harass individuals who, In one key underlying pattern, for carrying knives should be forced though gang members, are not researchers found that the very to visit victims of violence in hospital breaking any law; the police also same young people who had and has unveiled a £100m youth repeatedly follow, stop and search been identified by police as crime crime action plan, but researchers the gang members’ family, friends perpetrators turned out in reality at Manchester University found and classmates. This alienated to be repeat victims of serious evidence that directly contradicts both the gang members and their crimes, often having witnessed or core assumptions of this policy. associates who might otherwise suffered traumatic violence including have helped the police. shootings and abductions. Having spoken to and won the trust of more than 100 gang members, Among the six gangs in the Yet police and other agencies were associates and informers, they research, not one was dedicated to said by the research to offer such concluded that in general gangs are dealing drugs. Members survived individuals little protection or help. not tightly organised; they do not on ‘cafeteria-style earning’, mixing There were claims that police might specialise in dealing drugs; and their paid employment, benefits, living off take hours to respond to shootings violence is not provoked primarily friends or family, and opportunist in poor neighbourhoods; some by turf wars. They also found no crime, including selling cannabis and families of gang members were said basis for the popular belief that most committing street robberies. to be reluctant to seek help from street gangs are Black. official agencies for fear of being Although access to firearms was The research pinpoints breakdowns blamed for gang activity. common in all six gangs, it was in links between official agencies found that turf wars about drugs Khi Rafe, from the NBMC, said: and the communities in which they were not generally the cause of ‘They are mainly victims. So, there work, tied to the flawed assumption violence; it was far more likely to be is a desperate need to appropriately that gangs are tight groups bent triggered by disputes over friends, assess the needs of these young on drug dealing and other forms of family and romantic relationships, people and their families – and not crime. often within the gangs rather than blame them.’ 15 Black Action October 2008 Black members’ Subscribe to FREE Black regional contacts Cymru/Wales region Scotland region For further information or to join Lynne Hackett Eileen Dinning UNISON, call 0845 355 0845 L.Hackett@unison.co.uk E.Dinning@unison.co.uk Telephone: 02920 729 414 Telephone: 0141 332 0006 Textphone users call 0800 0 967 968 National committee reps: National committee reps: Sam Singh/Kebbah Manneh Lines open from 6am to midnight, Patricia Agu/Tamara Mhura (job-share), Pam Singh Monday-Friday and 9am to 4pm (job share), Hamid Rasheed/ Saturday Eastern region Ismail Donmez (job share) Kumar Sandy South East region You can visit our website at K.Sandy@unison.co.uk Sarah Hayes www.unison.org.uk Telephone: 0870 889 0373 S.Hayes@unison.co.uk National committee reps: Abdul Malik, Sylvia Beckford Telephone: 0870 770 1112 National committee reps The campaigning East Midlands region Claudette Livan/Judy Richards and organising (job share), Kathy-Ann Mark-Evans/ Tonia Williams Kamlesh Sharman (job share) newsletter T.Williams@unison.co.uk Telephone: 0115 847 5400 South West region for Black members National committee reps: Nick Parkes/Selwyn Seymour Vicki Boroughs V.Boroughs@unison.co.uk in UNISON (job share), Sophie Whitely, Telephone: 01823 288031 Black Action supports Black self- Lisa Edwards National committee reps: organisation in a number of ways: Greater London region Roshni Singh, Kim Long Colin Inniss West Midlands region • keeping Black members in touch I.Inniss@unison.co.uk Ray Salmon • providing news and information Telephone: 020 7535 2100 • exchanging views and ideas. R.Salmon@unison.co.uk National committee reps: Telephone: 0121 685 4200 For Black Action to be a successful tool Khi Rafe, Georgette Johnson, National committee reps: in Black self-organisation, we need to Margaret Greer Pat May, Doreen Brown, make sure we are reaching our intended Northern region Jenny Forbes/Esmie Reed readers. This means keeping an up-to- Ruth Berkley (job share) date distribution list. R.Berkley@unison.co.uk Yorks & Humberside region Telephone: 0191 245 0800 We need your help to do this. If you are a Sultan Mahmood UNISON member and want to add your National committee reps: S.Mahmood@unison.co.uk name to the national mailing list to Fay Round, Sushil Munakhya Telephone: 0113 244 9111 receive email copies of Black Action and Northern Ireland region National committee reps: other information, please complete the Pamela Dooley John Campbell, Pam Sian, online form on our website: P.Dooley@unison.co.uk Betsy Saidani www.unison.org.uk/blackmembers/ Telephone: 02890 770813 mailinglist.asp National disabled members’ National committee reps: vacant committee If you need hard copies or multiple North West region Ingrid Browne-Wallace copies, please contact your Regional Jason Hunter National lesbian, gay, bisexual Black Members’ contact above. J.Hunter@unison.co.uk and transgender committee Dion Baugh D.Baugh@unison.co.uk Bev Miller, Julie Biggs Telephone: 0161 211 1000 National women’s committee National committee reps: Davena Rankin, Gloria Hanson Ade Alao, Angie Marriott, Bharti Ramji Designed, published and produced by UNISON Communications, UNISON, 1 Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9AJ CU/OCTOBER 2008/17637/UNP REF 10285.
Pages to are hidden for
"l Muslims under siege l UNISON equality scheme l Challenging "Please download to view full document