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Union promotes action to tackle workplace racism in education

28 February 2018

Tackling racism in the curriculum is the theme of this year's UCU day of action on workplace racism, taking place today.

UCU branches across the country are hosting workplace events on the theme of 'decolonising education' as part of the third annual day of action. Activities including screenings of the film Witness, which chronicles the lived experiences of UCU black members in post-16 education, as well as teach-ins and panel discussions.

This year's day of action coincides with the fifth day of walkouts in a row over pensions at over 60 UK universities, as well as strikes at 15 colleges over pay. The union said that defending pay and pensions was especially important for black members who are often lower paid and on more casualised contracts.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'The annual day of action is a chance to think about the challenges black members still face in our colleges and universities. This work is crucial in helping institutions to radically examine their structures and curriculum in order to root out racism wherever it exists.'

Dave Muritu, Chair of the UCU Black Members' Standing Committee, said: 'This year's day of action coincides with coordinated strike action in defence of pay and pensions for education staff.  Black members of staff in colleges and universities are lower paid and more often casualised, meaning that a worsening of the pension offer will disproportionately affect them.  Today, UCU members stand united, ready to take on the structural racism of the curriculum and fight for decent pensions and fair pay for black members.'