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The Government needs to act urgently to address the causes and effects of structural racism that is contributing to widening inequality in the workplace, NASUWT General Secretary Dr Patrick Roach has said.

Dr Roach, who heads the TUC’s Anti-Racism Taskforce, said the Covid-19 pandemic was leading to Black workers losing their jobs at a far greater rate and should be a “wake-up call” for the Government.

He was speaking following the release of a major TUC report which found Black and minority ethnic (BME) workers have been hit much harder by job losses during the pandemic than white workers.

The analysis - of official statistics – reveals that BME employment has slumped by 5.3% over the last year, compared to drop of 0.2% for white workers.   

BME employment has fallen at 26 times the rate of white workers and has already exceeded worse scenarios for overall joblessness during the Covid-19 pandemic. Around 1 in 12 (8.5%) BME workers are now unemployed, compared to 1 in 22 (4.5%) of white workers. 

Dr Roach said: “Evidence that Black workers have lost their jobs at a far greater rate during the Covid-19 pandemic is shocking and should be a wake-up call for the government.  

“We have seen evidence of widening inequality during the pandemic and because of the impact of the government’s emergency measures.

“The government needs to act urgently to address the causes and effects of structural racism and set out a national recovery plan that works for everyone. 

"The NASUWT and the wider trade union movement are stepping up to challenge racial injustice in the workplace, and the TUC's Anti-Racism Taskforce invites the government to work with trade unions to tackle the underlying causes of racial disparities in employment." 

The report’s findings will feed into a major international debate being held by the NASUWT on anti-racism at its Black Teachers’ Consultation Conference.

Taking part will be Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy MP, Chief Executive of the Runnymede Trust, Dr Halima Begum, National Education Association President Becky Pringle and TUC Policy Officer Lester Holloway. It will be chaired by NASUWT President Michelle Codrington-Rogers.

Dr Roach added: “The NASUWT will be engaging with over 500 Black teachers who have signed up to debate these issues and we will be unapologetic in calling out racial injustice and institutional racism wherever it exists.”
 

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