Prospect commits to prioritise its campaigns for race equality

Prospect commits to prioritise its campaigns for race equality

In the opening of its biennial conference, Prospect has solidly recommitted itself to continue to prioritise its campaigns for race equality

Three motions committed the union to supporting the work of the BECTU sector black members' committee, campaigning against race discrimination, addressing under-representation of minority ethnic groups in the workplace, building BAME membership of Prospect and developing BAME members as union activists.

Conference gave overwhelming support for the motions proposed by BECTU sector's Yorkshire and Humberside freelance branch, the NEC and the Rosyth Royal Dockyard branch.

Riaz Meer of BECTU's black members' committee told how the committee is currently fighting the employers in the TV industry for proper robust equality monitoring and leading the Federation of Entertainment unions in this campaign.

It is working with theatre industry employers to fight for more jobs for BAME workers, and working with sister unions in the USA to try and improve the scandalously low number of BAME workers in the UK film industry.

"We speak directly to employers, regulators, quangos, politicians of all political stripes, and government. And in all our discussions we are never afraid to speak truth to power. In our discussions our strength – and we are strong – comes from you."

Satnam Ner on behalf of the NEC congratulated Prospect on its progress over the past two years, mapping and monitoring Prospect's BAME membership, establishing a successful BAME development programme and its BAME working group.

Ner argued that diversity in numbers in the workplace is not enough: BAME employees need to be included, and research shows that too many organisations fail on diversity and those that do also fail on inclusion.

Ner urged delegates to look around and see whether the membership of the union reflects that of society. "If the answer is no it shows just how much more work we need to do."

David Linton of the Rosyth Royal Dockyard branch, moving the third motion, called on the union to continue the rollout of the BAME member and rep development programmes, showcasing exemplar branches, establishing an organising award around equality to recognise branch efforts and challenge branches to achieve proportionality within their committees.

Rosyth branch's establishment of union learning rep and green rep subcommittees and young member networks, along with Prospect's training courses, had resulted in a far more diverse representative base. 

Conference overwhelmingly endorsed all three motions.