TUC Black Workers conference hears demands from physiotherapy profession

CSP members raised issues of structural racism in the workplace, mental health and maternity inequalities at the TUC Black Workers conference.

Five CSP delegates attended the conference this year, which focused on key issues including the ethnicity pay gap, mental health inequalities and structural racism in the workplace.

Rajkumar Samuel, CSP BAME network chair
Rajkumar Samuel, CSP BAME network chair delivering a speech. Photo: Jess Hurd

CSP Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic network chair Rajkumar Samuel delivered the first of five CSP speeches in support of the CSP motion on structural racism in the workplace and the ethnicity pay gap.

‘I am contacted by many network members who have experienced bullying, harassment, discrimination, and micro aggressions because of their race.’

He added ‘the employment rate in the UK for Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups is only 62.8 per cent compared with an employment rate for white workers of 75.6 per cent. This gap is even worse for some ethnic minority groups; for instance, the employment rate for those from a Pakistani or Bangladeshi background is only 54.9 per cent.’

The motion was passed unanimously. 

CSP delegates Emelie Anekwu and David Mbinga spoke on mental health inequalities, maternal inequalities and racism in employment. 

Emelie said: 'As an organisation, we are seeing a huge rise in the number of internationally trained physiotherapists entering the UK workforce, providing vital workforce support across the NHS and private practice. Internationally trained physios, alongside other allied health professionals, doctors, surgeons and more, are indispensable components of the UK healthcare system.

If you want to attend TUC Black Workers conference 2025, email national officer, Siân Caulfield - caulfields@csp.org.uk

'Yet, our internationally trained members face the worst types of discrimination and racism at work. Structural racism, discrimination, micro aggressions, and a lack of support when entering the UK and our workforce are all significant factors leading to members needing support from trade union representatives.'

Physiotherapist David Mbinga
CSP delegate David Mbinga. Photo: Jess Hurd

In his speech, David highlighted the recent Too Hot to Handle report, 'which showed the true extent of racism in the NHS.

'The report, which brought together key learnings from significant tribunal cases and survey responses from over 1,300 NHS staff, shows that the health service is still falling far too short in tackling race discrimination. The report states that there is a culture of avoidance, defensiveness and minimisation of racism within the NHS. 

'Even if there is just one person facing racism at work, the system is still failing. Conference, every year the NHS publishes data on the experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff under the Workforce Race Equality Standard. Capturing this data is important, but change is not coming soon enough.’ 

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