Delegation: Hamid Rasheed - Perth & Kinross, Bev Miller
- NBMC / Sheffield, Martha Magaisa - South Lanarkshire,
Eileen Dinning - Equality Officer, David Ng Hop - Edinburgh
City, Patricia Agu - Lothian Health Rakiya Suleimen -
Lothian Health, Goulnaz Ali - Dundee, Nahid Aslam - Edinburgh
City, Ismail Donmez - Chair SMBC
Womens' committee urges fight
Equalities Act. Concern about dilution
of public dFuties
If proposals go through, it will give
public authorities even more opportunities to avoid their
legal responsiblities more...
'There is a better way' - Dave
STUC's 'THERE IS A BETTER WAY' Campaign
sets out to gain the maximum unity across Scotland's ethnic
and faith communties and its voluntary sector.
Disabled workers' committee urges
support for 23 October march
...important that we all united in our
effort to stop the cuts in the Public Sector more...
About time UK gave more in Social
Aid and less in Military Aid: Funds needed for Pakistan,
says Hamid Rasheed
Hamid Rasheed calls for more funds for
flood relief and Nahid Aslam - supporting emergency motion
1 - Pakistan - reminded delegates of the unfulfilled pledge
given by the UK government of giving 0.7% of National
GDP to International Development more...
When democratic activities and
structures are not inclusive, it a warning sign our culture
is not healthy
We as Black people must also become more
involved in Politics and get our communities involved,
says David Hop. more...
Black trade unionists must be represented
at all levels of the movement, Lothian
Health's Rakiya Suleimen tells conference more...
Modern Apprenticeship Project -
Supporting and organising young people must be a priority
Equality a founding principle of
Scottish Parliament - Marlyn Glen
One of the founding principles of
the Scottish Parliament is equal opportunities. This ensures
that EO are at the heart of all the Parliament's activities
and the EO Committee is central to this. more...
Workshops cover Mental Health,
Operation Black Vote, Close the Gap and One Workplace
Equal Rights project
Cuts will have a devastating impact
on women and ethnic minorities
Anas Sarwar MP tell delegates 40% of
women work in public services compared to 15% of men and
BAME are more likely to work in the public sector than
white people. But this government has not carried out
a BME impact assessment of their cuts more...
Recession devastating life chances
and futures of younger generation of black workers - Bev
UNISON NBMC Chairperson warned that systemic
labour market discrimination and disadvantage confronted
BAME workers before the recession even happened more...
Scotland United against fascism
- Aamer Anwar
AAMER ANWAR - Human Rights Lawyer
spoke about the campaigning work of SCOTLAND UNITED (an
umbrella group of trade unions, members of political parties
and individuals which have come together to mobilise against
bigotry and fascism) more...
Youth Committee to stand by black
members at 'Better Way' rally on 23 October
Calling for a huge turnout on 23
October, Georgina Wardrop - Chairperson of the STUC Youth
Committee - told the STUC Youth unemployment in Scotland
seems to constantly be on the rise, and there are undoubtedly
difficult times ahead. more...
Step up anti-BNP and anti-SDL work
UNISON's Ismail Donmez moved motion 9:
STEP UP THE ANTI-BNP/SDL WORK. more...
Womens' committee urges fight against cuts
Guest Speaker - Natasha Gerson: Co-Vice Chair STUC Women's
Committee Natasha spoke about the Single Equality Bill
and the effect it will have on women - including BME women.
She encouraged delegates to work together to fight the
cuts within the public sector, which if realised will
see a rise in cases of violence towards women as stress
levels amongst the population rise.
Equalities Act. Concern about dilution of public duties
Nahid Aslam - Edinburgh City Branch - seconded and supported
motion 17: Single Equalities Act. The new Equalities Act
which became law on the 1st October encompasses all the
existing equality legislation, including all the public
Whilst we welcome a number of progressive developments
particularly in relation to improved definations of discrimination,
we are seriously concerned at what we see as the dilution
of the public sector duties.
Our experience of the public sector duties has been
largely negative. Despite the clear guidance for public
authorities, they have used it as nothing more than a
tick box exercise.
Their definition of consultation has been shameful and
virtually non-existant. The current consultation from
the Scottish Government on the new specific duty is extremely
If their proposals go through, it will give public authorities
even more opportunities to avoid their legal responsiblities.That
is why we need to respond as a trade union movement and
tell the government their proposals are not acceptable.
'There is a better way' - Dave Moxham
Guest Speaker - DAVE MOXHAM - Deputy General Secretary,
Scottish TUC spoke at STUC Black Workers Conference told
the conference of the great value the STUC General Council
placed on the work of the STUC BMC and was thankful for
He went on to talk about the challenge of the BNP and
the EU elections which saw a rise in far right popularity.
He applauded the good work done by anti-racist and community
groups, including the trade unions in fighting off the
He spoke about the cuts to the public sector and the
very real possiblity of a 'double dip' recession. A double-dip
recession will not only cause further sufering to citizens
but will also increase the very deficit the ConDems claim
they wish tro reduce.
He said 'the only effective solution to the current economic
crisis is the one laid out by the STUC and others:
* slow and steady deficit reduction based on sustaining
economic growth throgh creating jobs paid at least the
* the delivery of decent public services and fair benefits
through progressive taxation
* and collecting the missing tax billions either avoided,
evaded or wasted on products like Trident.
He said the poor will be hardest hit by these cuts and
we know that BME communities tend to be in the bottom
10% of the population. They also tend to be employed in
greater numbers with the public sector.
That is why the STUC's 'THERE IS A BETTER WAY' Campaign
sets out to gain the maximum unity across Scotland's ethnic
and faith communties and its voluntary sector.
Disabled workers' committee urges support for 23 October
Guest Speaker - Alan MacKay - STUC Disabled Workers'
Committee spoke about the Equalities Act and gave his
own experience of life in the workplace as a person with
a hearing disability. He was redeployed but then found
his salary was cut. He was in effect being punished for
He linked his speech to Motion 2: BMEs and Mental Health
and said that BMEs are also penalised for being disabled.
He spoke about the importance of support from family members
and colleagues in order to function fully in Society.
He encouraged delegates to take part in the STUC march
on the 23rd October. He stated that it was important that
we all united in our effort to stop the cuts in the Public
About time UK gave more in Social Aid and less in Military
Aid: Funds needed for Pakistan, says Hamid Rasheed
On the last day of the conference, the Fire Brigade Union
(FBU) moved the Emergency motion 1 on Pakistan. Hamid
Rasheed (UNISON) speaking in support of the motion, came
straight to the point and asked to generate funds and
help Pakistan in its relief efforts, for those affected
by the worst floods in the country have every seen.
Hamid stated, as a result of floods: "Over 1500 people
and endless numbers of live stock have died.
Despite positive responses from world over; not enough
money went to Pakistan to cover the cost of short term
relief efforts, such as shelter, food, clean drinking
water, and health care.
Hamid made it clear that the phase two of the relief
effort calls for rehabilitation of the flood victims.
He said … he is not the only UNISON member who is involved
in generation of funds; there are many in Glasgow, Edinburgh,
Aberdeen, Dundee, and in other area of Scotland who have
made donations to the flood appeal.
Individual efforts of good people living in the UK have
so far contributed over £60 million to the Disaster Emergency
However, there is a further need to generate £78 millions,
to step-up the relief efforts. Hamid pointed out, that
his trade union UNISON have already donated £10,000 to
the Disasters Emergency Committee overseeing the British
aid effort, and asked the Scottish branches to follow
Hamid welcomed the £130m pledge made the UK Government
and urged upon the conference to support the motion, to
enable the STUC to influence the UK Government to call
upon other countries to commit, and help rebuild Pakistan.
Nahid Aslam - Edinburgh City Branch - supporting emergency
motion 1 - Pakistan - reminded delegates of the unfulfilled
pledge given by the UK government of giving 0.7% of National
GDP to International Development.
This pledge has not yet been realised. She stated that
natural disasters were on the increase - with droughts
in Africa, floods in China, Bangladesh and Hurricanes
in Haiti and across the Caribbean. How much is the ever-giving
and thoughtful British Public expected to give and keep
giving, how much can the trade unions give ...
It is about time the UK gave more in Social Aid and less
in Military Aid.
When democratic activities and structures are not inclusive,
it a warning sign our culture is not healthy
David Hop from Edinburgh City Branch spoke on motion
6: Diversity in the Scottish Parliament. David mentioned
the glaring democratic deficit within Scotland whose structures
does not represent us. 'When democratic activities and
structures are not inclusive, it a warning sign. A sign
that our culture is not healthy.
'It means that those making decisions that affect our
futures don't reflect all of us or reflect our life experiences.
It is time to address this deficit!'.
'We as Black people must also become more involved in
Politics and get our communities involved'.
Black trade unionists must be represented at all levels
of the movement
Speaking on Amended Motion 8: Black Representation, Rakiya
Suleimen from Lothian Health Branch spoke about her personal
experiences within the NHS and reminded Conference of
the importance of Black Trade Unionists to be represented
at all levels of the Trade Union Movement.
'This is the only way we will be truly be on the Trade
Union agenda and be reflective of our membership.
Modern Apprenticeship Project - Supporting and organising
young people must be a priority for unions
'Modern Apprenticeships' help build knowledge, skills
and expertise, and tests competence, said guest speaker
Tommy Breslin, Development Officer, Modern Apprenticeship
Project, Scottish Union Learning.
To find out more about them contact your Tommy Breslin,
Development Officer, Modern Apprenticeship Project, Scottish
Union Learning, STUC 333 Woodlands Road Glasgow G3 6NG
Tel: 0141 337 8152 firstname.lastname@example.org
"The economic downturn has exacerbated long standing
problems for young people in the labour market creating
a crisis in youth unemployment. The unemployment rate
for 16 to 24 year olds stands at 21.3% in Scotland. For
Young black people however it is 48% and for young Asians
it is 31%.
"Evidence from past recessions shows that unemployment
has a lasting and devastating impact on young people's
future life chances.
"Modern Apprentices have been brought into the National
Minimum Wage framework, this is an important step forward
but still far from providing young people with a living
wage, some of whom earn £2.50 per hour. Being paid £2.50
ph for a 40 hour week means your take-home-pay is only
£100 per week. How does one pay one's bills on this amount?
"Young people tend to work in low paid and vulnerable
sectors of the economy. Their employment rights are often
abused and their workplaces are often unsafe. Unfortunately,
too few are union members.
"Supporting and organising young people must be
a priority for unions. Young workers are not just the
future of our movement; they should be active members
now. As part of the Modern Apprenticeship Project I need
* If you have any ideas for work to be undertaken in
this project please let me know
* If you have Modern Apprentices within your workplace,
please let me know.
* I will be sending out a survey by email over the coming
weeks, please complete it whether or not you work with
Apprentices. Contact details:Scottish Union Learning STUC
Centre 333 Woodlands Road Glasgow G3 6NG Tel: 0141 337
Equality a founding principle of Scottish Parliament
- Marlyn Glen
"One of the founding principles of the Scottish
Parliament is equal opportunities. This ensures that EO
are at the heart of all the Parliament's activities and
the EO Committee is central to this", Marlyn Glen
MSP, Vice Convenor, Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities
Committee told the STUC Black Workers Conference.
Over the last year there have been several pieces of
work that the EO Committee has carried out in relation
1. Migration and Trafficking Inquiry - a key issue that
the inquiry has highlighted has been the lack of robust
information on migrant trends and patterns. The Committee
has also learned of the problems this presents for public
service providers who are unable to plan services appropriately.
The Committee will now consider a draft report on the
inquiry with a view to publishing recommendations to the
Scottish Government on migration and trafficking issues
hopefully in November.
2. Monitoring BME Data on Mental Health (Care and Treatment)
Scotland Act as there are gaps in the monitoring of ethnicity
3. Forced Marriage (Protection and Jurisdiction) (Scotland)
Bill which has been designed to protect people who may
be or have been forced into a marriage by enabling civil
courts to make a 'forced marriage protection order'. Breach
of this type of order would be a criminal offence under
4. Forthcoming Evidence session with Minister for Housing
and Communities to build on the work done last year on
the Scottish Government's Race Equality Statement. The
Session will also use the session to consider the implementation
of the UK Equality Act 2010.
After the elections in May next year there will be a
new EO Committee who will provide a legacy paper setting
out the issues that it may wish to consider as part of
its ongoing work. The Committee would be delighted to
hear from anyone who has views on the future work of EO
Committee in relation to race issues.
Workshops cover Mental Health, Operation Black Vote,
Close the Gap and One Workplace Equal Rights project
The STUC Black Workers Conference held four workshops:
* Mental Health * Operation Black Vote * Close the Gap
* One Workplace Equal Rights Project.
Nahid Aslam attended the Mental Health Workshop,
chaired by Ian Tasker of STUC. He mentioned the work the
STUC was involved in with the Depression Alliance Scotland.
They are offering an free online course to help people
overcome common problems seen in low mood, such as unhelpful
thinking, feeling overwhelmed and not sleeping.
To find out more contact Depression Alliance Scotland
on 0845 123 23 20 or check out their website: www.dasllttfi.co.uk
David Hop attended the Operation Black Vote Workplace.
It was chaired by Nazerin Wardrop (Unite the Union). OBV
is funded to encourage BAME individuals from all social
backgrounds to become active in Politics.
It is active mainly in England but they are keen to set
up a base in Scotland also, maybe under the auspicies
of the STUC They are working towards encouraging more
political shadowing amongst all political parties and
in all political fields - councillors, MPs and MSPs.
There are a number of shadowing projects in operation
at present e.g Leith Open Space in Edinburgh. To find
out more contact OBV on: 020 8983 5430/5426/5471 Email:
Get more information on Close The Gap at http://www.closethegap.org.uk/
See more about One Workplace Equal Rights at http://www.oneworkplace.co.uk
Cuts will have a devastating impact on women and ethnic
Guest speaker Anas Sarwar MP for Glasgow Central, thanked
STUC Black Workers Conference for the work it has done
on tackling racial discrimination and to promote race
equality, as he warned that the cuts the ConDem government
wants to introduce will have a massive impact on the vulnerable
and hardest working in Society.
"The budget deficit may well be £40 billion in
two years but that household debt will rise by £45 bn.
in the same period. That is over £60 000 for every house
in this country. The Condem government may be introducing
a bank levy of 0.55 but they are also cutting corporation
tax by 4% - effectively taking with one hand and giving
a lot more back with the other. I fundamentally believe
that government is about two things:
* tackling inequality
* creating opportunity
"But in the next five years inequality will be entrenched
and opportunity will be taken away from hundreds of thousands
of children and families across the UK. The truth is that
Public Sector cuts will have a devastating impact on women
and ethnic minorities. 40% of women work in public services
compared to 15% of men and BAME are more likely to work
in the public sector than white people. But this government
has not carried out a BME impact assessment of their cuts.
"Make no mistake - we are dealing with the same
old Tories and the same old Thatcherite ideology.
"Conference, I want to end with a promise: That
no matter your political affiliation, no matter your race,
religion, colour of skin, no matter how big or small the
injustice, I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you
to take on this fight together. A fight for: justice,
decency, equality and opportunity for all.
"This must be our guiding principles as we build
a society where every individual, no matter their background,
can match their aspiration with achievement".
Recession devastating life chances and futures of younger
generation of black workers - Bev Miller
Bev Miller - UNISON NBMC Chairperson warned that systemic
labour market discrimination and disadvantage confronted
BAME workers before the recession even happened - and
has deepened the impact of the recession on them and their
Speaking on Motion 5 - PROTECT BLACK WORKING MEMBERS'
JOBS, she said: "In January 2010 we heard the shocking
statistic that nearly half of young black people are unemployed.
We know that long periods of unemployment blights the
lives of people.
"This recession is devastating the life chances
and futures of the younger generation of black workers.
Over-represented in the lowest paying jobs - under-represented
at the top. Black children have nearly a 50% chance of
"Black communities have unequal access to education,
healthcare, social services, housing and key services.
The Million Voices campaign - defending public services
matters to black workers and their communities. This is
why UNISON has brought this motion to conference.
"It is now more urgent than ever that we organise
in our workplaces and in our communities. So that we can
represent them in the workplace and work with them within
"This motion will enable us to integrate the work
of STUC Black Workers Committee and other relevant groups
on Race Equality into the vital work UNISON and other
unions are doing on protecting and defending public services."
Scotland United against fascism - Aamer Anwar
2 Oct: AAMER ANWAR - Human Rights Lawyer spoke
about the campaigning work of SCOTLAND UNITED (an umbrella
group of trade unions, members of political parties and
individuals which have come together to mobilise against
bigotry and fascism).
He informed delegates about how the English/ Scottish
Defence League had hoped to march on the Central Mosque,
Glasgow on the 14th November 2009. However this desire
of their's failed to be realised because of the strength
of support provided by Scotland United.
By trying to march on the Central Mosque the SDL had
hoped to whip up race hate and create a climate of fear.
Some people argue that to confront the Nazis is denying
them their 'Freedom of Speech' and there are those within
BME communities who say we should ignore them.
But allowing the SDL to whip up racism and division is
not only undemocratic, it is dangerous. When the Nazis
begin to organise in an area, Black and Asian people,
trade unions and others face intimidation and brutal attacks.
Silence is not an option because their aim is to divide
us by making scapegoats of one community, just as the
fascists did with the Jews in the 1930s.
Mainstream politicians have abandoned millions of working-class
Britons to mass unemployment, bad housing, poor public
services and hopelessness about the future - on which
the Nazis feed in such a frenzy. Britain today is dangerous.
The Tories have inherited a broken Britain in which
a foreign-owned, right-wing media will bear false testimony
- that foreigners and muslims cause our problems. Either
our politicians will move to the Right to reap the whirlwind
of Bigotry, or the BNP will grow and grow.
We have to build a movement to stop them and say loud
and clear we don't want fascists or racists on our streets
... we are united.
Youth Committee to stand by black members at 'Better
Way' rally on 23 October
2 Oct: Georgina Wardrop - Chairperson of the STUC
Youth Committee - told the STUC Black Members Conference,
'with the deepest and darkest recession to hit the UK;
circumstances have changed drastically for each and everyone
one of us, regardless our age, race, gender, sexuality
or disability. Youth unemployment in Scotland seems to
constantly be on the rise, and there are undoubtedly difficult
'Youth unemployment is up by nearly 80% since the start
of the economic crisis, yet one of the first acts of the
Tory-Lib coalition was to stop the Future Jobs Fund denying
employment to thousands of young Scots. The Chancellor's
June Budget means fewer jobs will be created.
'Cuts in Public Spending will reduce jobs in the Public
and Private sectors. Cutting jobs and investment in the
future won't get us out of crisis - investing in manufacturing,
skills, infrastructure and jobs for the of this country
'The STUC Youth Committee is committed to taking the
fight against the savage cuts forward, and we hope to
stand beside you on the 23/10/10 in Edinburgh.
'Conference we must work together to change the situation,
we must build ideas from each strand of society regardless
if those people are young or old, black or white. We must
act now to ensure the government takes notice and stop
feeding us lie after lie: there is a better way, and the
better way is together.
Step up anti-BNP and anti-SDL work
Oct 2: UNISON's Ismail Donmez moved motion 9:
STEP UP THE ANTI-BNP/SDL WORK. He stated that at this
year's General Election, we once more faced the spectre
of fascists, racists and the far right, seeking to exploit
people's economic fears and anxieties to threaten and
divide our communities.
He brought to our attention that when we raise voter
turn out we crush the BNP vote. Knowing this, UNISON started
early on encouraging people to register to vote.
UNISON, together with the HOPE NOT HATE and UNITE AGAINST
FASCISM Campaigns were extremely active during the Elections.
As a result the BNP were spectacularly disappointed. They
lost council seats.
However we must not be complacent. The BNP received half
a million votes nationally and a recession continues to
threaten the livelihoods and futures of communities. Such
conditions make it easy for the Far Right to march through
our cities, making scapegoats of the most vulnerable amongst
us and divide our communities.
Hence we must not assume the hard work is over but rather
carry on the struggle against the BNP and SDL.