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Submitted by AWL on Wed, 10/06/2020 - 15:53

This Branch notes that Lambeth council admits that there is racism in the Council.
On 12 October 2018 the Chief Executive sent email to all staff, following an initial denial of racism in the Council. The Chief Executive stated in his email: I accept that there is racism within the Council.

This motion calls on the branch committee to support the recent report compiled by Lambeth UNISON Black workers. The report summarise the background of racism in Lambeth and outline 21 recommendation.

A survey undertaken by Lambeth UNISON 2017 notes the following:

More than two thirds (69.3%) agreed that “the lack of transparency in recruitment has led to BME staff being discouraged and not applying for jobs as they feel it is pointless”.

Race and perceptions of managerial attitudes in Lambeth. A large majority (69.9%) agreed that “managers have a propensity to look at white people as more capable and having potential, rather than others.”

The evidence of the extent of racism in the workplace has been reinforced by the Trade Union Congress (TUC) survey. Around 5,000 people between December 2016 and February 2017 were interviewed.

Key issues highlighted in this survey are: Racial harassment at work is widespread. Racist violence is still far too common, Around 11% of Black, Asian and Mixed heritage respondents said they had experience racist violence at work. Experiencing racism is bad for your health. Non-white people continue to be thought of as intellectually inferior. Non-white people are still thought of as belonging to ‘uncivilised’ places “People racialised as non-White were also framed as belonging to places characterised as ‘dirty’, ‘wild’, ‘uncivilised’ and ‘backwards’,” the report said. White respondents were keen to downplay racism

Lambeth Council appointed an external investigator, Patrick Vernon to advise on the ‘experiences of Lambeth staff’. Patrick Vernon has interviewed staff across the council, met with senior leaders and the trade unions.

The initial findings of this investigation leaves no surprise: 80 % of staff report that Lambeth is institutionally racist. 20% said no but more can be done for better equality and opportunity.

Reasons for institutional racism are: Failure to follow equal of opportunity, fairness and transparency of policies and processes, Lack of advertising and promotion of opportunities, Different treatment of white English staff compared BAME and other White staff e.g. European and Eastern European, Failure in Grievances process and Procedures.

This Branch resolves
To share the previous reports on Lambeth’s investigations on racism with Patrick Vernon, the staff, senior managers and councillors.
To set a date to share Patrick Vernon’s recommendations with UNISON members, the community and public.
To continue campaign against institutional racism in Lambeth council.
To work cross borough with other UNISON and trade union branches on the issue of racism in the work place.

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