Equality ‘should be more than words’

The CSP has called on all unions to ‘push hard’ to ensure that the public sector equality duty in the new Equality Act is fully implemented and enforced.

Proposing a motion at the TUC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender conference, held in London earlier this month, CSP steward Lee Matthews (above left, with CSP national officer, Saraka Keating and Scottish steward Carole Anderson) said the public sector equality duty, which includes protection on the grounds of sexual orientation, should not become ‘just fine words’. The act is due to be implemented from October. It will consolidate, and, the government claims, simplify the many existing discrimination laws. The public sector equality duty is expected to come into force in April 2011. But Lee Matthews told the conference: ‘There is a real danger that the new coalition government will fail to issue instructions to public authorities on what they have to do.’ ‘We need clear codes of practice, full compliance, regular monitoring and for the Equality and Human Rights Commission to be given sufficient resources to monitor and challenge those organisations who fail to fully comply’. The motion was passed unanimously.  
Sally Priestley

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