Four Prospect members on Black History Month – October 2016
Race equality: committed to fighting discrimination and harassment
Prospect is committed to fighting for equality of opportunity for all our members. In the context of race equality, we believe that all workplaces, and society generally, will benefit from an inclusive environment.
In members' workplaces, we aim to ensure that all employers have an equal opportunities policy which specifically covers race equality. This should include dealing with institutional racism, and measures to combat racial harassment and bullying.
We also press employers to adopt the responsibilities under the Equality Act which includes a public sector duty to promote good race relations and eliminate racial discrimination. Although currently this only applies to the public sector, the duties on employers are good business practice and should therefore apply in both the private and voluntary sectors as well as the public sector.
Prospect negotiators and representatives are encouraged to address equality in their workplace bargaining agendas. As well as ensuring equality in the areas of pay, conditions, recruitment, selection, promotion, training and development, we seek to:
- negotiate agreements that allow workers to take their leave around their own cultural or religious holidays, or extended leave to visit family abroad
- negotiate the introduction of positive action programmes
- ensure that equivalent foreign qualifications are accepted where appropriate
- ensure that particular dietary requirements are taken into account, both in workplace restaurants and also when catering for meetings or training events.
Prospect encourages participation of our black and minority ethnic members at all levels of the union. We facilitate a race equality network which seeks comments on proposals by the union and employers, and updates members about appropriate courses and campaigns. Members of the network are also able to contact each other, and participate in a discussion forum via our website. The network is an important source of expertise for Prospect. See the terms of reference on the main equalities page.
The previous Commission for Racial Equality: a statutory organisation set up to oversee the implementation of the Race Relations Act has now been subsumed into the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which has taken over its work.
As part of our commitment to tackling racism, Prospect has affiliated to Unite Against Fascism which is a national campaigning organisation dedicated to alerting British society to the threat of far right fascist organisations. UAF also aims to unite the broadest possible spectrum of society to counter this threat.
Prospect is also affiliated to Show Racism the Red Card, a campaigning organisation that uses top footballers to educate against racism.
Equality briefings and resources
Equality Briefings provide advice and guidance on a range of equalities issues and a Briefing has been produced with links to Prospect's resources for equality, including our guides, posters and leaflets etc.
Working against racism
The TUC in collaboration with the Working Lives Research Institute published a report on "Working against Racism - the Role of Trade Unions in Britain". In response, a small working group was set up to look at ways in which the recommendations from the report could be taken forward within Prospect.
Work has been progressing on implementation of the group's action plan, which has included a training programme for full-time officers on the impact on their work. A summary leaflet of the action plan can be download here.