Call to strengthen race equality wins support

This year's TUC black workers conference took place in Bristol on the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. As well as the conference, delegates had the chance to attend a preview of a slavery exhibition and take a guided walk of the city's slavery trail. Here we report on the conference, and, opposite, CSP black and minority ethnic network convenor Mel Stewart gives an account of the trail.

A CSP motion seeking to strengthen race equality in the NHS was carried unanimously at the TUC black workers' conference in Bristol last month. The motion urged the TUC general council to lobby the government to ensure proper monitoring of race equality schemes in NHS trusts. CSP black and minority ethnic network convenor Mel Stewart (pictured right), who proposed the motion, told the conference there had been a widespread failure of NHS trusts to meet their requirements under the Race Relations Amendment Act. According to a Healthcare Commission report last year, 60 per cent of trusts had published race equality schemes for 2005 to 2008. However, Ms Stewart said, only seven trusts had also published monitoring reports and race equality impact assessments. Delegates heard that without this information, there could be no meaningful analysis of how public bodies had improved race equality for service users and staff. Ms Stewart said: 'Everybody will talk about putting race equality schemes in place, but it's hard to find evidence that requirements are being complied with.' She said there was concern that trusts would do little better in implementing new disability and gender equality schemes. Ms Stewart added: 'The motion triggered a lot of debate. I was very pleased to see a lot of people talking in favour.' Delegates to the conference were also given a special preview of a slavery exhibition at the British Empire & Commonwealth museum in Bristol (pictured left). Breaking the Chains marks this year's 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade. FURTHER INFORMATION For more information on the slavery exhibition, go to
Matthew Limb

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