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Day of action against workplace racism?

UCU day of action against workplace racism 2019 - BLACK STAFF MATTER

On 27 February 2019 UCU will be holding a day of action against workplace racism.


'...you're really articulate for a black person'

'...but where are you REALLY from?'

'...although it seems very minor, consistent and persistent misspelling of my name.  If you can learn Dostoyevsky...'

Extracts from the UCU survey into the experiences of black workers in further and higher education, 2015


Suggested branch activities for the day of action

The 4th Day of Action against Workplace Racism will be held on Wednesday 27 February 2019.  This annual campaign event has grown from strength to strength as it involves and includes a whole union approach to tackling the issues of workplace racism and its impact on careers, mental health and well-being and relationships with peers/students. The theme of this year's Day of Action is '#Blackstaffmatter'

Branches are encouraged to host meetings of all members to discuss issues and approaches in line with the theme '#Blackstaffmatter  and how best to engage with colleagues and your institution. As per UCU policy branches are also encouraged to work strategically with their local student union. 

Below are some resources and suggestions you may want to use to stimulate discussion amongst members and students.

  1. Watch our 'witness' campaign film in which UCU black members speak candidly about their experiences of everyday racism and its impact.
  2. Host a meeting to discuss what and how branches can challenge and change perceptions including working with other equality groups to ensure that workplace racism is challenged on an intersectional basis. 
  3. Use our survey findings from our most recent report ' Staying Power [1Mb]' (2019) and our initial 'witness' report [132kb] (2016).
  4. Involve black staff to share their experiences of everyday racism in the workplace - devise an action plan of how branches can work toward addressing the issues raised.
  5. Share the witness document [824kb] capturing some of the experiences of UCU black members.
  6. Use our bargaining guide on tackling workplace racism [343kb] to raise the issues identified with employers as an integral part of the collective bargaining agenda.
  7. Submit an article for the 'Black Voices' blog: https://www.ucu.org.uk/black-voices. Please send contributions to Chris Nicholas (cnicholas@ucu.org.uk).

UCU challenging workplace racism resources

Challenging discrimination is a crucial part of UCU's work. The union tackles discrimination both on an individual basis - supporting individual members experiencing problems - and collectively, challenging racism within organisations and across the post-school education sector.
 
We have produced these materials as a tool to highlight the issue in further and higher education workplaces and to engage staff in our campaign.

If you would like some of the resources referred to above please contact Martin Whelton .

Please let us know what you branch is planning so we can share it with other branches.


Bullying and stereotyping blocking professorial path for black women

A February 2019 report for UCU says a culture of bullying and stereotyping means black academics have to work harder and employ mentally draining strategies to try and get on.

UCU survey

The survey of 631 black union members working in post-16 education found that:

  • over two-thirds (71%) said they had 'often' or 'sometimes' been subject to bullying and harassment from managers
  • nine out of ten (90%) black staff members report having faced barriers to promotion in colleges and universities.

Report finds high levels of discrimination in colleges and universities

The experiences of black and minority ethnic staff in further and higher education, Feb 16 [132kb]

The qualitative data from the survey into experiences of UCU's black members can be found here:

Witness - voice of UCU black members, Feb 17 [824kb] 
Witness - voice of UCU black members, Feb 17 [277kb]

'Witness'

Initiated by UCU Black Members' Standing Committee, our new film 'witness' chronicles the lived experiences of UCU black members in post-16 education.

'witness' film: worksheet [146kb]
'witness' film: what next? [146kb]
'witness' film: questions [142kb]

To view the subtitled version please click here.

You can also watch a quick preview of some of the issues raised in the film:

UCU challenging workplace racism resources

Challenging discrimination is a crucial part of UCU's work. The union tackles discrimination both on an individual basis - supporting individual members experiencing problems - and collectively, challenging racism within organisations and across the post-school education sector.
 
We have produced these materials as a tool to highlight the issue in further and higher education workplaces and to engage staff in our campaign.

If you would like some of the resources referred to above please contact Martin Whelton .

Last updated: 20 February 2019