Unite is reaching out to NHS workplaces to combat the scourge of racism that holds back the promotion prospects of black Asian and ethnic minority (BAEM) workers in the health service.
Unite in Health – which has 100,000 members in the health service – is launching its Race Ahead In Health toolkit aimed at tackling race discrimination in the workplace.
A recent snapshot survey by the country’s largest union of its BAEM members revealed lack of promotion for BAEM workers; racial harassment and bullying; and race discrimination in the job market.
The launch of the toolkit will be accompanied by the offer of training by Unite to NHS staff and managers to tackle conscious and unconscious bias, and opposing race discrimination in the workplace.
“We are launching the toolkit and training to assist NHS staff and managers to ensure that this issue is always on the agenda and allows no room for complacency”, said Unite national officer for health Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe.
Unite national officer for health Sarah Carpenter said: “Academic studies have proved that when staff feel they are being discriminated against and bullied, they provide worse patient care.
“So this initiative to end discrimination and eliminate unfair treatment of BAEM NHS staff will lead to improved levels of patient care, so we can all benefit.”
Unite’s work builds on last year’s NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard, published by NHS England, that showed the experiences of BME and white staff from the staff survey 2015 at every NHS trust across England.
This revealed that 75 per cent of all acute trusts showed a higher percentage of BME staff being harassed, bullied or abused by staff in comparison to white staff.
In 86 per cent of acute trusts, a higher percentage of BME staff did not believe that their organisation offers equal opportunities for career progression or promotion in comparison with white staff.