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Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, has been chosen to chair the TUC’s new antiracism task force.

This task force, involving General Secretaries and other senior leaders from across the trade union movement and civil society, will be launched today (Tuesday) as part of TUC Congress 2020.

The task force will lead the development of an action plan to tackle racial inequality at work.

NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach said:

“Regrettably, we continue to see evidence of the searing and devastating impact of racism and racial inequality on the lives of Black workers across all sectors of the labour market and in the wider economy.

“There is no excuse for systems and practices which hold back talent or put workers at greater risk of illness or injury because of the colour of their skin. The antiracism task force will be unapologetic in calling out racial injustice and institutional racism wherever it exists.

“The task force will be taking forward a wide-ranging programme of action to tackle racial discrimination and ensure fairness and decent treatment at work.”

Dr Roach took up the post of General Secretary of the NASUWT in April 2020. He previously served as the Deputy General Secretary of the union for ten years.

As part of its Act for Racial Justice campaign, the NASUWT has been campaigning for the Government to publish evidence on the racial equality impact of its decisions for reopening schools, given the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 infections and deaths on BAME people. So far, the Government has refused to publish this information.

Dr Roach added:

“In order to make real progress there needs to be an open and honest assessment of the issues and a willingness to change.

“The Government can no longer hide behind its assertion that it is not in the public interest to publish information on the racial equality impact of its decisions.

“The Coronavirus pandemic has exposed evidence of searing racial injustices in the economy and in our workplaces, which means Black workers are more likely to be in low-paid and insecure employment and in jobs where workers are at higher risk of catching Coronavirus and dying on the job.

“We will be unapologetic in calling out racial inequality, racial injustice and institutional racism wherever it exists.”

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