Received from: Unison
Congress asserts that racism in the UK is not history but a daily experience for Black workers. Black workers, under-protected and over-exposed to Covid-19 had additional vulnerabilities created by a lifetime experience of structural racism, from housing to healthcare to work.
Congress notes that a 2021 UNISON survey of Black staff in social care found:
i. 46 per cent of respondents had experienced racism at work in the previous year.
ii. 60 per cent felt able to raise concerns about infection control with their employer.
ii. 21 per cent said they would get no sick pay at all if they needed to self-isolate.
TUC research also exposed the over-representation of Black workers in insecure work, being twice as likely as white workers to be in agency work and more likely to be on zero-hours and temporary contracts. The tragic death toll of Black workers during the pandemic should have renewed a commitment to tackle racism. Instead, the government minimised the reality of racism and dismissed the concept of institutional racism.
Where the government steps back, the trade union movement must step forward and Congress welcomes the creation of the TUC race equality taskforce and its work.
Congress calls on the General Council to produce resources to support the work of trade unions in:
a. negotiating for race equality in the workplace
b. training for reps and activists to track and challenge racism
c. tackling the ethnicity pay gap
d. supporting Black workers’ self-organisation.
Congress calls on the General Council to challenge the government’s attempts to dilute and repress efforts to tackle racism.
At end of paragraph 3, after “institutional racism”, add:
“In the NHS, the most recent staff survey showed that Black workers were significantly more likely to be deployed to a Covid-19 work area, and significantly less likely to be able to work flexibly or from home, than their white colleagues.”
Chartered Society of Physiotherapy